Phrases with "formal"

I have a formal remonstrance from those critical people, Ballantyne and Cadell, against the last volume of Count Robert, which is within a sheet of being finished. Sir Walter Scott by Richard H. Hutton [1878]

Henry Adams In due course this party of five men sat down to dinner with the usual club manners of ladyless dinner-tables, easy and formal at the same time. The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams [1907]

He now turned and stood up with an expression of formal courtesy. Max Carrados by Ernest Bramah [1914]

H. G. Wells They seem to be simple because they have formal heads and definite forms, councils, voting assemblies, and so forth, for arriving at decisions. What are we to do with our lives? by H. G. Wells [1928]

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]

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]

The contrast between the sprawling childish hand-writing and the formal phrases of Richard’s imagining was piquant in the extreme. The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Nil’s idea of formal presentation was always more brief than elaborate. Serapion by Francis Stevens

Death is a dignitary who when he comes announced is to be received with formal manifestations of respect, even by those most familiar with him. Tales of Soldiers and Civilians by Ambrose Bierce

Jules Verne It was couched in the most formal terms. The Master of the World by Jules Verne [1904]

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]

Wilkie Collins On his own account, and, I must be allowed to add, on mine also, the Professor merits the honour of a formal introduction. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins [1860]

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

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]

Wilkie Collins A man can respect a woman’s scruples when they appeal to him mutely in her looks or in her tears; but the formal expression of them in words only irritates or annoys him. The Two Destinies by Wilkie Collins [1876]

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

Instead of opening the banks, as had been ordered by the Military Revolutionary Committee, the Union of Bank Employees had held a meeting and declared a formal strike. Ten Days That Shook the World by John Reed

Wilkie Collins He was as cheerful and as polite as ever — and so paternally attentive to Stella that it was quite impossible for her to pass him with a formal bow. The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins [1881]

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]

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]

Wilkie Collins In due course of post a formal acknowledgment arrived. Little Novels by Wilkie Collins [1887]

Anthony Trollope But the squire had said it as being the only recognised formal way he could think of for breaking up the symposium. Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope

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

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]

George Gissing Helen was not to take any formal part in the ceremony, and that at Maud’s earnest request. Workers in the Dawn by George Gissing [1880]

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]

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]

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]

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]

He felt disposed to make a formal call upon them and inquire after the poodle. A Daughter of To-Day by Sara Jeannette Duncan [1894]

Wilkie Collins Our bodily necessities, Romayne (excuse me if I take the friendly liberty of suppressing the formal ‘Mr.’)— our bodily necessities are not to be trifled with. The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins [1881]

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

Elizabeth Gaskell She had dropped the more formal “you,” with which at first she had addressed Miss Benson, and thou’d her quietly and habitually. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell [1853]

Arnold Bennett No formal agreement between us. Hilda Lessways by Arnold Bennett [1911]

H. G. Wells In the Far East the conflict between Japan and China, failing a European protest, became frankly a formal war. The Shape of Things to Come by H. G. Wells [1933]

Bronislaw Malinowski We see here, again, the actual proprietor of the land is the local group; families have some merely formal (or magical) claim to portions of it. The Family among the Australian Aborigines by Bronislaw Malinowski [1913]

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]

Ann Radcliffe She remained in her chamber till he had quitted the abbey, unwilling to subject him or herself to the pain of a formal parting. The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe [1791]

D. H. Lawrence Wherever he went he was to be seen paying formal calls going out to luncheon or to tea, rarely to dinner. The Princess by D. H. Lawrence [1925]

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

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]

Henry Fielding His assurance, however, had the same completion, and his endeavors the same success, with his formal trial; and he was soon obliged to return once more to his old quarters. Journal of a Voyage to Lisbon by Henry Fielding

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

A dry, formal voice intoned from above: “Èrit . Romance by Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford [1903]

Having lodged a formal complaint next morning against the inhabitants of the town, we received a visit from a sallow personage clad in a long black robe and a voluminous white turban. A Thousand Miles up the Nile by Amelia B. Edwards [1877]

Francis Bacon The one part, which is physic, inquireth and handleth the material and efficient causes; and the other, which is metaphysic, handleth the formal and final causes. The Advancement of Learning by Francis Bacon [1605]

You are not fatigued, love, I hope?’ ‘No, no, madam, I thank you,’ said I, rising at the same time from my seat, with the formal respect so little practised now. The Purcell Papers by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

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]

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]

F. Scott Fitzgerald When she saw him alone, or at a formal party, or with his casual inferiors, she felt a tremendous pride in his strong, attractive presence, the paternal, understanding stature of his mind. All the Sad Young Men by F. Scott Fitzgerald [1926]

George Gissing Mrs. Delph, a timid woman whose nerves had failed under her misfortunes, did not appear on formal occasions like the present, but Irene was becoming an ornament of the drawing-room. The Emancipated by George Gissing [1889]

George Gissing Good-bye, Miss Trent.’ Surely that was formal and automatic enough. Thyrza by George Gissing [1887]

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]

Jacques Futrelle Mr. Latham was nervously shuffling his unopened personal correspondence when he came upon it—a formal white square envelope, directed by that same copperplate hand which had directed the boxes. The Diamond Master by Jacques Futrelle [1909]

T. E. Lawrence It must be a formal execution, and at last, desperately, I told Hamed that he must die for punishment, and laid the burden of his killing on myself. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

E. Phillips Oppenheim It was written on the Hôtel de France note paper but there was no formal commencement or ending. The Spy Paramount by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1934]

William Godwin No one knew better than Mary how to extract sentiments of exquisite delight, from trifles, which a suspicious and formal wisdom would scarcely deign to remark. Memoirs of the Author of a Vindication of the Rights of Woman by William Godwin [1798]

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

Wilkie Collins She flushed deeply; her eyes looked away from me as she spoke her few formal words of welcome. The Two Destinies by Wilkie Collins [1876]

In the concluding lines he takes a formal farewell of the Latian muse, and announces his purpose of adopting henceforth the “harsh and grating Brittonic idiom” (Brittonicum stridens). Milton by Mark Pattison [1879]

William Morris He soon afterwards determined to print it, and on Sept. 11 entered into a formal agreement with Mr. Quaritch for its publication. The Art and Craft of Printing by William Morris [1902]

H. Rider Haggard Don’t let us say anything more about it; but I want you to come and pay a formal call with me at Isleworth tomorrow. Dawn by H. Rider Haggard

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

It was an oversight not to make him a formal acknowledgment of some kind. A Traveler from Altruria by William Dean Howells

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]

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]

Elaine had not personally congratulated Suzette since the formal announcement of her engagement to the young man with the dissentient tailoring effects. The Unbearable Bassington by Saki

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]

One evening, despite Helene’s formal edict of banishment, the doctor called. A Love Episode by Émile Zola [1878]

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]

Jules Verne When the result was communicated to Hatteras, he desired that a formal document might be drawn up to attest the fact, and two copies made, one of which should be deposited on a cairn on the island. The Field of Ice by Jules Verne

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

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

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

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

Edith Wharton He was dressed with even more than his usual formal trimness, and she detected, in an ultra-flat wrist-watch and discreetly expensive waistcoat buttons, an attempt at smartness altogether new. The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton [1922]

The first check to her duteous demonstrations was a formal intimation from the fallen majesty of England, that I was in no manner to be intruded upon her. The Last Man by Mary Shelley

John Galsworthy The carefully closed and blinded houses seemed to confirm, each with its tall formal narrow face, the indifference of the regimented world to the longings of street-walkers such as she. Flowering Wilderness by John Galsworthy

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

Anthony Trollope And rising again not long afterwards, when the House had gone through certain formal duties, he moved that it should be adjourned till the next day. The Duke’s Children by Anthony Trollope

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]

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

Nor did she make any protest when he spoke of her as one pledged to him, though no formal covenant had been entered upon. The Golden Calf by Mary Elizabeth Braddon [1883]

Lacheneur’s formal courtesy and politeness he regarded as sincere. The Honor of the Name by Émile Gaboriau

George Gissing But before he could suffer much from the necessity of formal conversation the door opened to admit yet another young lady, a perfect stranger to him. Born in Exile by George Gissing [1891]

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

Will it not be necessary to hold frequent interviews with Monsieur Lacheneur in effecting a formal transfer of Sairmeuse? I will win him over to my side. The Honor of the Name by Émile Gaboriau

Jane Austen She was not near enough to hear any of their discourse, but she could see how seldom they spoke to each other, and how formal and cold was their manner whenever they did. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen [1813]

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]

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]

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

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]

Thomas Wolfe It was as if one of those masks — not of pretending but of formal custom — which life imposes upon so many human relations had here keen sloughed off. You Can’t Go Home Again by Thomas Wolfe [1940]

E. F. Benson Oh, one thing more, Georgie. I think you and I had better keep those formal notices of rejection from the hanging committee just in case. Mapp and Lucia by E. F. Benson [1931]

A formal inquiry designed to prove and put upon record the blameless characters of judges, advocates and jurors. The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce [1911]

Olaf Stapledon In fact, even if the dialectical principle is in the loosest sense true universally, it is also too formal and abstract to afford by itself a master key to historical problems. Philosophy and Living by Olaf Stapledon [1939]

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]

Walter Scott HENRY IV. The company whom we had left in Victor Lee’s parlour were about to separate for the night, and had risen to take a formal leave of each other, when a tap was heard at the hall-door. Woodstock by Walter Scott [1855]

E. Phillips Oppenheim Arrived there—it was a room of formal and not displeasing appearance—he did a singular thing for a man who was going to a country house dinner party with the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the county. The Man Without Nerves by E. Phillips Oppenheim [1934]

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]

E. F. Benson There was a sentence of formal thanks for her sympathy which Mrs. Lucas immensely prized, and then followed these ridiculous words: It has been a terrible blow to my poor Pepino and myself. Lucia in London by E. F. Benson [1927]

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]

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]

Willa Cather She and Claude were old playmates; he made a formal call at the millhouse, as it was called, every summer during his vacation, and often dropped in to see Mr. Royce at his town office. One of Ours by Willa Cather [1922]

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]

T. E. Lawrence Joyce alleged the parade-magnificence of his Egyptians — formal men, who loved mechanical movement and surpassed British troops in physique, in smartness, in perfection of drill. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

George Gissing An envelope addressed to himself in a small, formal hand. Demos by George Gissing [1886]

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

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

Wilkie Collins The day was lovely, and the gypsy dinner was, as usual, infinitely preferable (for once in a way) to a formal dinner indoors. A Fatal Fortune by Wilkie Collins [1874]

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

T. E. Lawrence Consequently they had a peace-incentive to perfection of formal conduct. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

Sinclair Lewis The skipper reassured them, in a formal address. Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis [1925]

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]

From the Spaniards themselves he met with a formal deference. The History of the Conquest of Mexico by William Hickling Prescott [1843]

Wilkie Collins She rose with formal politeness, and requested permission to return to the house. The Frozen Deep by Wilkie Collins [1874]

Wilkie Collins The lawyer, seeming to be satisfied so far, put a formal question to the doctors next. The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins [1881]

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

H. G. Wells But there had been no formal secession from the Federal Union anywhere. The Shape of Things to Come by H. G. Wells [1933]

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]

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

George Meredith He stepped out, grave as a barge emerging from a lock, though alive to the hurrahs of supporters and punctilious in returning the formal portion of his rival’s too roguish nod. The Amazing Marriage by George Meredith [1895]

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

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]

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]

E. T. A. Hoffmann The formal surrender of the estate-tail to the young Baron took place, and then his marriage with Seraphina was solemnised. The Entail by E. T. A. Hoffmann

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]

She had conquered the right to come in and out of her god-mother’s room without first asking formal leave of Doctor McKirdy, and he had given in with a good grace. Barbara Rebell by Marie Belloc Lowndes [1905]

Olaf Stapledon Every man and woman was merely the node of a number of formal social relations. Darkness and the Light by Olaf Stapledon

George Meredith And then a formal and noble offer on his part to keep to the engagement with the unhappy wreck: yes, and to lead the limping thing to the altar, if she insisted. The Egoist by George Meredith [1879]

H. G. Wells Then the alarm, the conflict, the flight, a shot, a wound, straw and filth in a prison cell, the beatings and the formal punishment, the intensified resolve to carry on the resistance. The Shape of Things to Come by H. G. Wells [1933]

And, except by a cold and unfeeling letter of formal condolence after I lost my dear Gilbert, I have never heard from her since I have been a widow, till today. A Strange Story by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1862]

Sir Walter Scott Every door in the hamlet was chalked by the ground-officer, in token of a formal warning to remove at next term. Guy Mannering by Sir Walter Scott [1815]

The two men whom she sat between found her a disappointing companion, cold and formal in manner. Sir Charles Danvers by Mary Cholmondeley [1889]

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]

D. H. Lawrence There he stood, tall and slender, and so different, in a formal suit of thin dark cloth. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence

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

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

Leon Trotsky At the outset, our delegation made a formal declaration stating the principles of democratic peace. My Life by Leon Trotsky

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]

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]

The second interview between the former musketeers was not so formal and threatening as the first. Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas [1845]

Aphra Behn I am not what I was, I do not speak, nor walk, nor think as I was wont to do; sure the excess of joy is far above dull sense, or formal thinking, it cannot stay for ceremonious method. Love-letters between a Nobleman and his sister by Aphra Behn

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

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

He had read much respecting witchcraft: He understood that unless a formal Act was signed renouncing his claim to salvation, Satan would have no power over him. The Monk by Matthew Lewis [1796]

D. H. Lawrence On the other hand, Mrs. Thomas was only polite and formal with Severn, treating him as if he were a stranger. The Old Adam by D. H. Lawrence [1934]

There was a formal simplicity, too, in his manners, that might have belonged to the same era. The Life and Genius of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Frank Preston Stearns [1906]

After having held her so long in his arms, he did not care to take her hand in formal greeting. Studies in Love and Terror by Marie Belloc Lowndes [1913]

Henry Fielding After which she made me a very distant formal courtesy, and we all sat down. Amelia by Henry Fielding

Your consistent sceptic never puts his scepticism into a formal proposition — he simply chooses it as a habit. The Meaning of Truth by William James

D. H. Lawrence And now James, in his cheap little cap, was smiling a formal farewell. The Lost Girl by D. H. Lawrence

Wilkie Collins Mr. Clare made for the door before any formal leave-taking could pass between them. No Name by Wilkie Collins [1862]

Francis Bacon Here is taxed the vanity of formal speakers, that study more about prefaces and inducements, than upon the conclusions and issues of speech. The Advancement of Learning by Francis Bacon [1605]

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]

H. G. Wells At last he pressed the telephone button and gave Thirp formal orders for Chiffan’s arrest. The Holy Terror by H. G. Wells [1939]

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

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

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]

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]

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

H. G. Wells Twice more her habitual “anxiety” was not to be relieved, and God was to incur her jaded and formal gratitude for two more “dear ones. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

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]

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

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

George Gissing In formal phrase, the writer said that she was glad to hear of her friend’s engagement, and wished her all happiness. Our Friend the Charlatan by George Gissing [1899]

Goldwin Smith They are conversation, perfectly artless, and at the same time autobiography, perfectly genuine, whereas all formal autobiography is cooked. Cowper by Goldwin Smith [1880]

Wilkie Collins On her side — never let her know that I told you this — Stella signed a formal document, sent from Rome, asserting that she consented of her own free will to the separation. The Black Robe by Wilkie Collins [1881]

Leon Trotsky It is extremely important, and the reports should be sent, first of all, to Vorovsky and Litvinov; this could be done through Chicherin. “We have only had one formal meeting, so far. My Life by Leon Trotsky

I would have passed her with a formal bow, but she stopped me. A Strange Story by Edward Bulwer-Lytton [1862]

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]

Henry James He went to one of the great windows, and looked out at the stiffly embanked river and the formal gardens which lay beyond it. The American by Henry James [1877]

Anthony Hope You must be ill, Flavia, and unable to go to Zenda. Make your excuses as cold and formal as you like. The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

T. E. Lawrence The third, to set up Feisal in formal independence of his father. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence [1926]

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]

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]

Walter Scott The bearer is a pert young lawyer, who has brought a formal complaint against you, which, luckily, he has preferred in a friendly court. Redgauntlet by Walter Scott [1824]

Arthur Conan Doyle Craddock saw the Governor’s mistrust under his thin veil of formal and restrained courtesy. The Green Flag by Arthur Conan Doyle [1900]

George Meredith Dry and clad, and decently formal under the transformation, they met at Mrs. Collett’s breakfast-table, and in each hung the doubt whether land was the dream or sea. Lord Ormont and his Aminta by George Meredith [1894]

Wilkie Collins And why not? Are we formal people on either side? Nothing of the sort; we are just the reverse. No Name by Wilkie Collins [1862]

Ivan Turgenev Kuzma Vassilyevitch lodged a formal complaint; proceedings were taken. Lieutenant Yergunov’s Story by Ivan Turgenev

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]

D. H. Lawrence I think we need something more flexible, and a power less formal and dogmatic; more generous, shall I say. Kangaroo by D. H. Lawrence

Since the grand eclaircissement had taken place between Mervyn and Gertrude Chattesworth, they met with as slight and formal a recognition as was possible, consistently with courtesy. The House by the Church-Yard by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

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]

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 Until late in the evening he sat idly at his hotel reading newspapers, but before going to bed he wrote a few lines addressed to Lady Revill. A formal note, constructed in the third person. Sleeping Fires by George Gissing [1896]

William Morris This was the claim of recognition and formal status for the Committee of Public Safety, and all the associations which it fostered under its wing. News from Nowhere by William Morris [1890]

Sinclair Lewis You’re excellent at all the things in which you’re supposed to be lackinglyric poetry, formal manners, lack of cupidity. Dodsworth by Sinclair Lewis

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 Gissing Both brothers greeted Piers cordially; both were curt and formal with the widow, but, for appearances’ sake, accepted a cramped lodging in the cottage. The Crown of Life by George Gissing [1899]

Anthony Trollope Lord Lufton repeated his offer in the most formal manner, and claimed permission to see Lucy. She refused to see him. Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope

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]

Madame de Sauve obeyed this formal order, but her eyes and her voice were mere machines. Marguerite de Valois by Alexandre Dumas

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

Henry James For them there could be no condonement, no compromise, no easy forgetfulness, no formal readjustment. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James [1881]

H. G. Wells His abundant methodical mind was at its best in formal organization. An Experiment in Autobiography by H. G. Wells

His Imperial Highness was immediately obliged to give a formal assent before his court. Travels in Morocco by James Richardson

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

Mr. Evans advanced towards her bowing, with a formal questioning smile that told its own story, but Leona prevented the need of explanation by going straight to the point. Her Father’s Name by Florence Marryat [1878]