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formality (noun) observing of a custom or a rule; following of a procedure.
When we are in society we observe formalities like greeting others when we meet them, offering a seat to our visitors and making them comfortable. Procedures of behavior and rules of conduct are formalities. Something done as part of an official procedure is a formality.
- The production of health and income certificates, a clean record of non-involvement in crimes, etc., are the formalities to be fulfilled for getting the visa to a country.
- The retiring general handed over charge to his successor with all formality; there were signing of papers, and handing over of confidential records, etc., preceding his formal retirement.