Phrases with "formal"

The Sharpes had made no effort to live up to Aunt Lin’s standard of hospitality; no effort to provide a formal dining-room lunch. The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey

Jonathan Swif My head is a little out of order to-night, though no formal fit. The Journal to Stella by Jonathan Swif

Oscar Wilde An age that has no criticism is either an age in which art is immobile, hieratic, and confined to the reproduction of formal types, or an age that possesses no art at all. Intentions by Oscar Wilde [1891]

Olaf Stapledon If so, the life of each star is experienced not only as the perfect execution of formal beauty but also as the perfect expression of love. Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon

George Gissing At eleven o’clock Mr. Chown fairly mounted a chair behind his counter, and delivered a formal harangue—thus, as he boasted, opening the political campaign. Denzil Quarrier by George Gissing [1891]

Elizabeth Gaskell She never missed the absence of formal words and promises. A Dark Night’s Work by Elizabeth Gaskell [1864]

Arnold Bennett In a few seconds they would have arrived, and her formal mission would be over. Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett [1911]

George Meredith He offered her his hand, which she contrived to avoid taking by dropping a formal half-reverence. Beauchamp's Career by George Meredith [1875]

Leslie Stephen Passages everywhere abound which, though a little more formal in expression, have the forcible touch of his best conversational sallies. Samuel Johnson by Leslie Stephen [1878]

Thomas Wolfe This touch of formal spruceness made George feel painfully awkward and embarrassed, for he knew what a disreputable figure he himself must cut. You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe [1940]

Andrew Lang Glanvil denied it till he was “quite tired,” and Mompesson gave a formal denial in a letter dated Tedworth, 8th November, 1672. The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang

Arnold Bennett Once, the prospect of any such formal honour, with all that it entailed of ceremoniousness and insincere civilities, would have annoyed if not frightened her. These Twain by Arnold Bennett [1916]

Suddenly he dropped the formal French and pronounced in his inflexible voice: “For a pair of white arms, Senor. Bueno.” He could understand. The Arrow of Gold by Joseph Conrad [1919]

E. Phillips Oppenheim After he had extended his usual formal invitation to luncheon he left the room, and his place was taken by the Secretary of State, who embarked at once upon the proceedings. The Wrath to Come by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1924]

G. K. Chesterton But it was also at a sufficiently early date in English history for frock-coats to be worn on formal occasions. Autobiography by G. K. Chesterton [1936]

George Gissing With Mary Bower she spoke no longer, not even formal words. Thyrza by George Gissing [1887]

Jonathan Swif My head is still wrong, but I have had no formal fit, only I totter a little. The Journal to Stella by Jonathan Swif

Miles Franklin Being too young and too poor to make a formal début, I was an anomaly. My Career Goes Bung by Miles Franklin [1946]

George Gissing Michael Snowdon — to distinguish the old man by name from the son who thus unexpectedly returned to him — professed no formal religion. The Nether World by George Gissing [1888]

D. H. Lawrence If he had to write a formal composition on the Army, he did at last learn to repeat the few facts he knew: “You can join the army at eighteen. The Rainbow by D. H. Lawrence

Helen Zimmern He, therefore, a few months after the ceremony had been performed at Gretna Green, gave his consent to a formal re-marriage by license. Maria Edgeworth by Helen Zimmern

H. G. Wells And then it was Mr. Plantagenet-Buchan had made his rather sad little summing-up; his sense of the gist of it all, given with his very formal and disciplined laugh, bright without being vulgar. Meanwhile by H. G. Wells [1927]

Wilkie Collins The letter was from Mrs. Payson. She wrote briefly, and in formal terms. The Fallen Leaves by Wilkie Collins [1879]

George Gissing But in writing those formal lines she felt herself a coward. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

Arthur Conan Doyle Craddock saw the Governor’s mistrust under his thin veil of formal and restrained courtesy. The Dealings of Captain Sharkey by Arthur Conan Doyle [1925]

Bram Stoker In case the coroner should demand it, there would be a formal inquest, necessarily to the same result. Dracula by Bram Stoker [1897]

I didn’t start any formal investigation, knowing you were on the way. The House on the Island by Arthur Gask [1931]

Pale blue and faded yellow silk cushions softened the formal angularity of the wide cane-seated couch and low, square chairs. Studies in Love and Terror by Marie Belloc Lowndes [1913]

It is very flat and very loose; it has no formal beauty, no elegance, no balance, no trace of the deliberation of art. Books and Characters by Lytton Strachey

H. G. Wells The Southern war opened brilliantly for the Italians, and for some weeks it went on without any formal connexion with the Polish conflict. The Shape of Things to Come by H. G. Wells [1933]

Arnold Bennett With the most formal deference he helped her into the carriage. Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett [1911]

F. Scott Fitzgerald He seemed to feel as though he had made some risqué and inexcusable blunder, became immediately formal and left her at the first opportunity. Flappers and Philosophers by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Wilkie Collins It was more immediately important to lead him into doing this than to insist on rights and privileges of the purely formal sort. Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins [1870]

George Gissing The letter written and posted, she would gladly have recovered it — reserved, formal as it was. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

Jules Verne Almost immediately, notwithstanding his formal orders, the door of his study was thrown open. Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon by Jules Verne [1881]

D.H. Lawrence Then the Signor di Paoli turned to me, with a gracious, bland, formal grin. Twilight in Italy by D.H. Lawrence [1916]

Then he took a formal farewell. Mr. Standfast by John Buchan [1919]

Jonathan Swif I have been with her two hours again, and find her worse: her violences not so frequent, but her melancholy more formal and settled. The Journal to Stella by Jonathan Swif

H. G. Wells Thence comes a real drive and effort to bring this powerful new knowledge into effective relation to as much of the general mind as can be reached by formal teaching. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

Dr Drummond, in faith and practice, moved with precision along formal and implicit lines; his orbit was established, and his operation within it as unquestionable as the simplest exhibit of nature. The Imperialist by Sara Jeannette Duncan [1904]

It is at once more formal and more wild, at once greener with more abundant youth and venerable with more antique age. Signa by Ouida

Henry James Longmore met her advances with a formal politeness that covered a good deal of unflattering discomposure. Madame de Mauves by Henry James [1874]

Of course, in due time Mr. Treverton would make Miss Malcolm a formal offer, and she would accept him. The Cloven Foot by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1879]

Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch Young woman, kindly listen while I make you a formal proposition of marriage. I Saw Three Ships by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch [1893]

His opening invocation had a formal tone. The Infidel by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1900]

Elizabeth Gaskell Pray call her Cynthia; she would be quite hurt at such a formal name as Miss Kirkpatrick from you. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell [1865]

George Gissing Mr. Walsh had renewed his unmistakable attentions, and, when her manner of meeting them began to trouble him with doubts, had cleared the air by making a formal offer of marriage. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

Arthur Conan Doyle It was then that I learned that no formal religious proceeding has any effect at all. The Land of Mist by Arthur Conan Doyle [1926]

Benjamin Disraeli So also you may have an apparent despotism without any formal popular control, and with no aristocracy, either natural or artificial, and the spirit of the government may nevertheless be republican. The Spirit of Whiggism by Benjamin Disraeli

Edith Wharton In religious ceremonies or in formal intercourse with his clergy he was the most imposing and sacerdotal of bishops; but in private life none knew better how to disguise his cloth. The Valley of Decision by Edith Wharton [1902]

Arthur Conan Doyle And what will you do, Sadie?” It was the first time that he had ever dropped the formal Miss, but the girl was too much in earnest to notice it. The Tragedy of the Korosko by Arthur Conan Doyle [1898]

Benjamin Disraeli It was not a formal party, but had grown up in great degree out of the circumstances of the moment. Endymion by Benjamin Disraeli [1880]

We do not believe in long, formal engagements; we do not permit them. Tiny Luttrell by E. W. Hornung [1893]

Walter Scott And sae it shows, wi’ ony rag of human righteousness, or formal law-work, that we may pit round us to cover our shame. The Heart of Mid-Lothian by Walter Scott [1818]

Algernon Blackwood Precise, formal thinking shut the engines off and damped the furnaces. The Bright Messenger by Algernon Blackwood [1922]

Isabella Bird The Ilkhani, who has not been in a hurry to call, made a formal visit today with his brother, Reza Kuli Khan, his eldest son Lutf, another son, Ghulam, with bad eyes, and a crowd of retainers. Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan by Isabella Bird [1891]

Tobias Smolle All attempts proving fruitless, he could no longer restrain his impatience, but throwing himself in the way of the uncle, upbraided him in such harsh terms, that a formal challenge ensued. The Life and Adventures of Sir Launcelot Greaves by Tobias Smolle

Dr. Berwick was waiting for the formal apology which the other did not consider it necessary to tender to him. The Story of Ivy by Marie Belloc Lowndes [1927]

Robert Louis Stevenson Moreover, deep down in his heart the Doctor was disappointed with the ill-success of his more formal education. The Treasure of Franchard by Robert Louis Stevenson

George Meredith He was warned to quit the formal posture of an exhausted act by the thought, that he had come to reflect upon how he might be useful to his boys in a like calamity. Lord Ormont and his Aminta by George Meredith [1894]

Rafael Sabatini Your arrest is a formal matter. Casanova’s Alibi by Rafael Sabatini

Wilkie Collins She met Magdalen, later in the day, as if nothing had happened: no formal reconciliation took place between them. No Name by Wilkie Collins [1862]

He therefore sent the Tractors gratuitously to many clergymen, accompanied with a formal certificate that the holder had become entitled to their possession by the payment of five guineas. Medical Essays by Oliver Wendell Holmes

Walter Scott The formal and marked angles, points and projections of the armour, were a good subject for the harsh pencil of that early school. Woodstock by Walter Scott [1855]

Marjorie Bowen He began by repeating, in formal fashion, his accusation of last night — M. du Boccage was a murderer, and she, calling herself Lucille Debelleyme, was his accomplice. Forget-me-not by Marjorie Bowen [1932]

Mr. Joseph handles it by formal logic purely, as if he had no acquaintance with the logic of hypothesis at all. Essays in Radical Empiricism by William James

Robert Louis Stevenson His formal politeness was so exquisite that this essential brutality stood excused. Lay Morals by Robert Louis Stevenson

Augustine Birrell The formal reception of the ambassador was on the 11th of February. Marvell was in the ambassador’s sledge and carried his credentials upon a yard of red damask. Andrew Marvell by Augustine Birrell [1905]

You may be very sure, therefore, that I had no desire for a formal leave-taking at her departure. Uncle Silas by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

G. K. Chesterton As a figure he was quite conventional, clad in a silk hat and frock-coat of the more formal type of fashion; he had a red flower in his buttonhole. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton

George Gissing Then she proceeded to change her dress and make ready for her formal appearance downstairs on the occasion of Egremont’s visit. Thyrza by George Gissing [1887]

Anthony Trollope There the will had been discovered, which had at once been admitted to be a true and formal document by the unhappy pseudo-proprietor. Cousin Henry by Anthony Trollope [1879]

Ann Radcliffe Having paid some formal and general compliments to her beauty, he proceeded to profess himself her admirer. A Sicilian Romance by Ann Radcliffe [1790]

She did not hesitate for long; and when the Cabinet, in a formal minute, advised her to sign the Warrant, she did so with a good grace. Queen Victoria by Lytton Strachey

T. E. Lawrence He returned the formal answer, ‘God will give you peace’, and at last wearily closed his eyes. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

John Lewis Burckhard There is not any formal certificate given to hadjys at Mekka, as at Jerusalem; but many of the great people purchase a few drawings of the town, &c. Travels in Arabia by John Lewis Burckhard

I could wish Cleanthes’ argument could be so analysed as to be rendered quite formal and regular. Hume by Thomas Henry Huxley [1879]

The front of the house presented a facade of more than sixty windows, surmounted by a formal pediment and raised upon a terrace. The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne

H. G. Wells Drawing begins at home, and a child should have begun to sketch freely before the formal schooling commences. Mankind in the Making by H. G. Wells [1903]

George Gissing Dr. Derwent kept cold silence on the subject, after once mentioning it to her in formal words. The Crown of Life by George Gissing [1899]

Wilkie Collins My first impulse was to follow Mira, without waiting for a formal invitation from her aunt. The First Officer’s Confession by Wilkie Collins [1887]

George Meredith The bosom of these women will keep on at its quick heaving until they have heard certain formal words, oaths to boot. The Amazing Marriage by George Meredith [1895]

Anthony Trollope The church stood on the grounds, close to that long formal avenue of lime-trees, but within the front gate. Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope

Henry Handel Richardson It pleased him, did this prim little note: there was just the right shade of formal reserve about it. Australia Felix by Henry Handel Richardson

Dickens had had little or no formal education, but he lost nothing by missing it, and on the whole he seems to have been aware of this. Charles Dickens by George Orwell [1940]

Thereafter, although no formal agreement was ever made or hinted at, no more bombs were dropped. Nineteen Eighty-four by George Orwell

George Gissing Without preface of formal phrase he exclaimed: ‘How delightful to see you so unexpectedly! Are you all here?’ ‘Only mother and I. We have come for a day or two. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

Ford Madox Ford The people will be stiff and formal and you probably haven’t got a frock. Some Do Not . . . by Ford Madox Ford [1924]

Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu The golden light of evening was touching the formal poplars, and the other trees, and bringing out the wrinkles of the old bricks duskily in its flaming glow. The Tenants of Malory by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu [1867]

Of this less formal and more agreeable species of education Locke appears to have enjoyed his full share. Locke by Thomas Fowler [1880]

Arthur Conan Doyle As soon as this astounding fact had been fairly realized by the girl, she at once changed her manner and became formal and distant. The Firm of Girdlestone by Arthur Conan Doyle [1890]

No hooded ambulance moves joltlessly, tended by enwrapt bearers, on pathless way; no formal procession paces from the house of death to the long last home. Tropic Days by E. J. Banfield

Radclyffe Hall She must now pay many calls with her mother, must attend all the formal social functions — this for the sake of appearances, lest the neighbours should guess the breach between them. The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

Sidney Colvin Between him and John Keats there was never any formal quarrel. Keats by Sidney Colvin [1887]

Oscar Wilde The formal monotonous ticking of the Louis Quatorze clock annoyed him. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde [1891]

H. G. Wells But some hours had to elapse before it was possible to effect the formal capitulation, and so after he had spoken his “Word” he retired to his new apartments in the wind-vane offices. When the Sleeper Wakes by H. G. Wells [1899]

Sir Walter Scott I would lose no time, however, in examining and arranging the other documents to which she has referred; and I also think her own statement should be taken down, if possible in a formal manner. The Antiquary by Sir Walter Scott [1816]

Thomas Wolfe After introductions were completed with a touch of formal constraint, Reade asked Webber if he did not want to wash up a bit, and ushered him into a small wash-room. You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe [1940]

Anthony Trollope You look so formal both of you. The Bertrams by Anthony Trollope [1859]

Anthony Trollope He intended to remain away from his parish for no more than the parson’s normal thirteen days, and was by no means sure that he would make any further formal offer. Ralph the Heir by Anthony Trollope [1871]

Wilkie Collins As to the past, I shall carefully complete the formal duties toward you which remain to be done. Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins [1870]

Then they sauntered towards the carriage, he offering a formal hand to help her down the uncertain steps, she gracefully accepting it. A mother in India by Sara Jeannette Duncan [1903]

George Meredith No reply being sent, a second letter arrived, formal too, but pointing out his duty to succour his afflicted family, and furnishing a few tragic particulars. Sandra Belloni by George Meredith [1887]

Rudyard Kipling Then Chinn declared himself a court of justice, no longer a medical board, and made formal inquiry into the late robberies. The Day’s Work by Rudyard Kipling [1898]

Robert Louis Stevenson If he had an opportunity, on the one hand, of acquiring much hair-drawn divinity and a taste for formal disputation, he was put in the way of much gross and flaunting vice upon the other. Familiar Studies of Men and Books by Robert Louis Stevenson

Henry James When I told you the other day that you displeased me, I had an idea you were more formal — how do you say it? — more guinde. Roderick Hudson by Henry James [1875]

Thomas Hardy He was nervously formal about such trifles, while Rosa took the whole proceeding — walk, dressing, dinner, and all — as a pastime. Life’s Little Ironies by Thomas Hardy

Jonathan Swif At last it was a formal letter, from Dingley about her exchequer business. The Journal to Stella by Jonathan Swif

Anthony Trollope At last, and not without considerable difficulty, he made Eleanor understand why he had let her into his confidence, seeing that he no longer intended her the honour of a formal offer. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

Pat took his precious invention from his fly case (where it had a special compartment of its own) and presented it to Grant with the formal benevolence of a headmaster handing over a certificate. The Singing Sands by Josephine Tey [1952]

George Eliot A formal remonstrance was presented to him, but he met it as if he had already determined to act in anticipation of it. Felix Holt the Radical by George Eliot [1866]

Tobias Smolle By the help of these signs, his sagacity soon comprehended the nature of his schemes, and prepared accordingly for a formal defiance. The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom by Tobias Smolle

From town he wrote to her, made her a formal offer of marriage; and gave her an address to write to “should she at any time think more kindly of him and of his sincere affection. Hard Cash by Charles Reade [1863]

George Gissing She could think of the news Godwin sent, could torment herself with interpretations of Marcella Moxey’s behaviour, and view in detail the circumstances which enabled Godwin to urge a formal suit. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

John Galsworthy It demanded a formal apology, and concluded with the words “failing it, action will be taken. The Silver Spoon by John Galsworthy

E. Phillips Oppenheim There was no further speech, no attempt at any interchange of the most formal courtesies. The Passionate Quest by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1924]

This efflorescence did not prevent, I think indeed it rather helped, our more formal university work, for most of us took firsts, and three of us got Fellowships in one year or another. The New Machiavelli by Herbert George Wells [1911]

Louisa May Alcott When he offered her his arm, she took it with a look that filled him with delight, but when he asked if she missed him, she gave such a chilly, formal reply that despair fell upon him. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott [1868]

George Gissing Buckland had become grave, stiff, monosyllabic; Christian made no allusion to the scene thus suddenly interrupted, and they parted with a formal air. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

Benjamin Disraeli There are epochs in our existence which cannot be ascertained by a formal appeal to the registry. Venetia by Benjamin Disraeli [1837]

Wilkie Collins He added to my embarrassment by the humility of his manner, and the formal elaboration of his apologies. The Legacy of Cain by Wilkie Collins [1889]

Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch But it was not for me, their Colonel, to betray this knowledge or my feelings, and by imposing secrecy I put off for the time all the business of a formal challenge with seconds. The Laird’s Luck by Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch [1901]

The sea appreciation of one’s humble talents has the permanency of the written word, seldom the charm of variety, is formal in its phrasing. A Personal Record by Joseph Conrad [1912]

E. Phillips Oppenheim He realised that this was in effect the final if not the formal break in their relations. Harvey Garrard's Crime by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1926]

Instead of writing my principal a formal letter, I shall send a copy of the entries in the diary, revised and amended. Birds of Prey by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1867]

Oscar Wilde It is a formal recognition of the importance of treating life from a definite and reasoned standpoint. Intentions by Oscar Wilde [1891]

Anne Bronte After a formal greeting, the elder girl, who was trifling over a piece of canvas and a basket of German wools, asked if I should like to go upstairs. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte [1847]

Elizabeth Gaskell But instead of frankly and directly owning this, he tried to frame a formal little speech, which would soothe Daniel’s mortified vanity; and, of course, it had the directly opposite effect. Sylvia’s Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell [1863]

Robert Louis Stevenson For some while back it had been I myself who had conducted these affairs; Mr. Henry not setting pen to paper, and I only in the dryest and most formal terms. The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson

Kenneth Grahame Then he flung the parlour door open, and announced with much importance, “Mr. Badger!” This was a wonderful thing, indeed, that the Badger should pay a formal call on them, or indeed on anybody. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The two young women kissed each other in a formal way, and then Mr. Granger embraced his daughter with some show of affection. The Lovels of Arden by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1871]

He didn’t think, however, that a formal complaint should be made to the Dutch Government. They would probably do nothing in the end, after a lot of trouble and correspondence. Because of the Dollars by Joseph Conrad [1915]

Everybody knows that it is not synonymous with man, but among the “genteel” and those ambitious to be thought “genteel” it is commonly so used in discourse too formal for the word “gent. Write it Right by Ambrose Bierce [1909]

He is gone, leaving on the breakfast-table a formal little note of apology, which is either silly or heartless. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad [1900]

George Gissing Seeing our friend’s condition, it appeared to me that a formal engagement between us would be a kindness to her, and involve no serious consequences for us. Our Friend the Charlatan by George Gissing [1899]

Wilkie Collins I have told her this is merely a formal document — and what more can she want? You may say what you please, but it is no part of a woman’s duty to set her husband at defiance. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins [1860]

Here they paused for a moment before the always formal ceremony of leave-taking at night. The Slayer of Souls by Robert W. Chambers [1920]

He instantly despatched a summons to the city requiring a formal tender of its submission. The History of the Conquest of Mexico by William Hickling Prescott [1843]

I can understand a little why a formal fellow like Tom should be taken with her. The Rise of Silas Lapham by William Dean Howells

George Meredith Be formal in mentioning me to her but be particularly civil. The Tragic Comedians by George Meredith [1880]

Algernon Blackwood It was as formal as an invitation to a dinner, and as guileless. Sand by Algernon Blackwood [1912]

Beyond was a glade of turf, at the end of which he could see the beginning of a formal garden. The House of the Four Winds by John Buchan

George Gissing Hither came no payers of formal calls, no leavers of cards, no pests from the humdrum world to open their mouths and utter foolishness. The Emancipated by George Gissing [1889]

Elizabeth Gaskell Then sighed; and saying, ‘I knew you would like it,’ he turned away, and never spoke to her again until he bid her a formal ‘good night. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell [1854]

Henry James He glanced rapidly from one to the other, fixed the young man’s own look sharply a single instant and then lifted his hat with formal politeness. Madame de Mauves by Henry James [1874]

A formal assurance given by her ought to be amply sufficient; with a word, M. Daburon would repair everything. The Widow Lerouge by Émile Gaboriau

Edith Wharton Early as it was, the main street was no place for any but formal greetings, and Archer longed to be alone with May, and to pour out all his tenderness and his impatience. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton [1920]

Isabella Bird After this Fattiallah Khan, with a number of retainers, paid a formal visit to the Agha, who kindly sent for me, as I do not receive any but lady visitors in my tent. Journeys in Persia and Kurdistan by Isabella Bird [1891]

H. G. Wells The longer they hide in their dug-outs the better for the New World. From our point of view the war to end war can have no formal end. The Holy Terror by H. G. Wells [1939]

William Morris They sent a duly accredited envoy to treat with these men, who somehow had obtained dominion over people’s minds, while the formal rulers had no hold except over their bodies. News from Nowhere by William Morris [1890]

George Gissing There, sitting at a formal distance from each other, they talked — of the fog. The Odd Women by George Gissing [1892]

Hunger and illness were plainly written in his face; but he smiled wanly as I intercepted him and gave him the formal freedom of the Isle, “Ba-bah” described him. Last Leaves from Dunk Island by E. J. Banfield

James Joyce The homely version of his christian name on the lips of his friend had touched Stephen pleasantly when first heard for he was as formal in speech with others as they were with him. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Jane Austen Something so formal and arrange in her air! and she sits so upright! My best love, of course. Persuasion by Jane Austen [1818]

Jules Verne He seemed, too, to be making some objections to which the lieutenant replied by formal assurances. Twenty-Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne [1872]

George Gissing From the College was approaching what seemed to be a formal procession; it consisted of Bruno Chilvers, supported on either hand by ladies and followed by an admiring train. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

Leslie Stephen He spoke in a “firm manly manner, with a sonorous voice,” and not in the subdued tone customary at formal receptions. Samuel Johnson by Leslie Stephen [1878]

Bronislaw Malinowski A system of consanguinity, which is founded upon a community of blood, is but the formal expression and recognition of these relationships. The Family among the Australian Aborigines by Bronislaw Malinowski [1913]

Henry James Poor Pickering could never take a step without asking leave, or spend half an hour in the garden without a formal report of it when he came in. Eugene Pickering by Henry James [1874]

Anthony Trollope To refuse a legacy because it was not formal was, to her thinking, an act of insanity. Cousin Henry by Anthony Trollope [1879]

He kissed his child, and saluted her young preceptress with formal courtesy. The Evil Guest by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

George Gissing Now and then they spoke with a formal coldness which threatened absolute silence. The Odd Women by George Gissing [1892]

Ivan Turgenev Bazarov did not care for this measured and rather formal regularity in daily life, like “gliding along rails” he called it; livened footmen and stately butlers offended his democratic sentiments. Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

Zona Gale Here Nature moved on no formal lines, understood no frugality of beauty, but was lavish with a divine and special errantry to a divine and special understanding. Romance Island by Zona Gale [1906]

Arnold Bennett The one point on which she envied them was their formal manners to her, which seemed to become more dignified and graciously distant as her health improved. The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett [1908]

Henry David Thoreau It is said that Mirabeau took to highway robbery “to ascertain what degree of resolution was necessary in order to place one’s self in formal opposition to the most sacred laws of society. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

I declined to be shaved until formal orders were issued by the authorities of the college. The Life of Sir Richard Burton by Thomas Wrigh

E. F. Benson And she treated me all the time as if I was a hotel-keeper and she wasn’t pleased with her room or her food, but made no formal complaint. Lucia's Progress by E. F. Benson [1935]

Arthur Machen It is a contract, and is as formal and business-like a document as any contract between manager and actor, or between author and publisher. Dreads and Drolls by Arthur Machen

Sir Walter Scott The meeting at first was stiff and formal enough. Waverley by Sir Walter Scott [1829]

I wrote a formal letter to Mrs. Holbrook, setting out the contents of the will; but there has been no answer as yet. Fenton’s Quest by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1871]

Elizabeth Gaskell Hepburn began in a formal manner, something the way in which he had read in the York newspapers that honourable members returned thanks when their health was given. Sylvia’s Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell [1863]

Arnold Bennett The mackintosh was formal and defensive; the frock was intimate and acquiescent. Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett [1910]

Thomas Wolfe But this one — he’s so stiff and formal you can never get inside of him. You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe [1940]

Anna Katherine Green It was a closet I had entered, opening, as I soon discovered, into the huge dining-hall where I had once sat beside my father at the one formal meal of my life. Dark Hollow by Anna Katherine Green

Henry James With a formal rupture he would be at large; and she had only to tighten her fingers round the string that would raise the curtain on that scene. The Spoils of Poynton by Henry James [1897]

Theodore Dreiser Gerhardt sought out the minister of the nearest Lutheran church, a round-headed, thick-set theologian of the most formal type to whom he stated his errand. Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser

Betty had been most reluctant to speak of the matter to her aunt, but now she made to her a formal complaint. A Book of Ghosts by S. Baring-Gould [1904]

He had never seen Bee in formal riding clothes, and was surprised again, as he had been with Jane. It was a new, serious, rather intimidating Bee. “Who do you think, Brat?” Jane said again. Brat Farrar by Josephine Tey

Willa Cather On the other was a formal garden where an elegant shepherdess with a mask and crook was fleeing on high heels from a satin-coated shepherd. The Song of the Lark by Willa Cather [1915]

Wilkie Collins You so thoroughly understand the necessity of dispensing with formal farewells, in cases of emergency, that I am sure you will not feel offended at my taking leave of you in this way. Poor Miss Finch by Wilkie Collins [1872]

Anthony Trollope At last, Clara was so annoyed with her own production, that she was almost tempted to write another letter unknown to her father; but the formal note went. The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope

George Gissing The second piece of news vexed Nancy; she resolved never to come again, unless on formal invitation. In the Year of Jubilee by George Gissing [1894]

Thomas Hardy After that, formal messages began to pass between Dornell and his wife, the latter being now as persistently conciliating as she was formerly masterful. A Group of Noble Dames by Thomas Hardy [1891]

Anthony Trollope He will there get the double frontage and enjoy that which is so lovely — the expanse of architectural beauty without the formal dullness of one long line. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

Elizabeth Gaskell Mrs. Rose had really so much of my true regard for her good qualities, that I disliked the idea of a formal explanation, in which a good deal must be said on my side to wound her. Mr. Harrison’s Confessions by Elizabeth Gaskell [1851]

Sir Walter Scott But next day a formal ‘Gazette’ was circulated, containing a detailed account of the battle of Gladsmuir, as the Highlanders chose to denominate their victory. Waverley by Sir Walter Scott [1829]

Finally he pushed aside all the notes except a few, which he arranged in a neat pile before him, and began a dry, formal little speech. Roads of Destiny by O. Henry [1909]

As I was not an apprentice, I received no formal instruction. Mr Polton Explains by R. Austin Freeman [1940]

Edgar Allan Poe As a third, I spoke of my fear that she might quit the city before I could have the opportunity of a formal introduction. Tales of Illusion by Edgar Allan Poe

To be free and easy, loquacious, fussy, and kind was Fanny Palliser’s nature, and she became odious when she tried to restrain those simple impulses by the armour of formal manners. The Golden Calf by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1883]

Sinclair Lewis Gentlemen, in the case of Mr. Doremus, surely we need not go through the farce of formal inquiry. It Can’t Happen Here by Sinclair Lewis

THE few minutes that elapsed before the formal opening of court the next morning were marked by great cheerfulness. Hand and Ring by Anna Katharine Green

Thomas Hardy It was for herself that he loved Tess; her soul, her heart, her substance — not for her skill in the dairy, her aptness as his scholar, and certainly not for her simple formal faith-professions. Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Wilkie Collins We shall be as good friends as ever; without the encumbrance of a formal tie to bind us. Little Novels by Wilkie Collins [1887]

W. H. Hudson Let them now return to the fort and give up their arms, and leave Valerio with him to assist in drawing up a formal demand for their share of the spoil. El Ombú by W. H. Hudson [1902]

This was followed by a formal letter couched to Mr. Box. He invited him to call at Mrs. Baker’s lodgings on that same evening at 8 p. A Book of Ghosts by S. Baring-Gould [1904]

Some vague expectation I had that a savant would stand up and deliver a formal speech, half dogmatism to the Athenians, half flattery to the princes. Villette by Charlotte Brontë [1853]

Rudyard Kipling As one digs deeper into the records, one sees the various temperaments of men revealing themselves through all the formal wording. Destroyers at Jutland by Rudyard Kipling [1916]

E. F. Benson You sent the pictures back, such beauties, too, with a formal rejection from the hanging committee when they had never seen them at all. Mapp and Lucia by E. F. Benson [1931]