- strict adherence to, or observance of, prescribed or traditional forms, as in music, poetry, and art.
- Religion. strong attachment to external forms and observances.
- Ethics. a doctrine that acts are in themselves right or wrong regardless of consequences.
- Logic, Mathematics. a doctrine, which evolved from a proposal of David Hilbert, that mathematics, including the logic used in proofs, can be based on the manipulation of symbols without regard to their meaning.
- scrupulous or excessive adherence to outward form at the expense of inner reality or content
- the mathematical or logical structure of a scientific argument as distinguished from its subject matter
- the notation, and its structure, in which information is expressed
- theatre a stylized mode of production
- (in Marxist criticism) excessive concern with artistic technique at the expense of social values, etc
- the philosophical theory that a mathematical statement has no meaning but that its symbols, regarded as physical objects, exhibit a structure that has useful applicationsCompare ,
1840, “strict adherence to prescribed forms,” from Formalist; formalistic.+ . Attested from 1943 in reference to the Russian literary movement (1916-30). Related: