Etymology
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Words related to formal

form (n.)
c. 1200, forme, fourme, "semblance, image, likeness," from Old French forme, fourme, "physical form, appearance; pleasing looks; shape, image; way, manner" (12c.), from Latin forma "form, contour, figure, shape; appearance, looks; a fine form, beauty; an outline, a model, pattern, design; sort, kind condition," a word of unknown origin. One theory holds that it is from or cognate with Greek morphe "form, beauty, outward appearance" (see Morpheus) via Etruscan [Klein].

From c. 1300 as "physical shape (of something), contour, outline," of a person, "shape of the body;" also "appearance, likeness;" also "the imprint of an object." From c. 1300 as "correct or appropriate way of doing something; established procedure; traditional usage; formal etiquette." Mid-14c. as "instrument for shaping; a mould;" late 14c. as "way in which something is done," also "pattern of a manufactured object." Used widely from late 14c. in theology and Platonic philosophy with senses "archetype of a thing or class; Platonic essence of a thing; the formative principle." From c. 1300 in law, "a legal agreement; terms of agreement," later "a legal document" (mid-14c.). Meaning "a document with blanks to be filled in" is from 1855. From 1590s as "systematic or orderly arrangement;" from 1610s as "mere ceremony." From 1550s as "a class or rank at school" (from sense "a fixed course of study," late 14c.). Form-fitting (adj.) in reference to clothing is from 1893.
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formalism (n.)
1840, "strict adherence to prescribed forms," from formal + -ism. Used over the years in philosophy, theology, literature, and art in various senses suggesting detachment of form from content, or spirituality, or meaning; or belief in the sufficiency of formal logic. Related: Formalist.
formality (n.)

1530s, "agreement as to form," from formal + -ity or else from French formalité (15c.) or Latin formitalitatem. Sense of "conformity to established rule" is from 1590s; meaning "something done for the sake of form" is from 1640s. Related: Formalities.

formalize (v.)
1590s, "give an appearance of being to," from formal + -ize. Meaning reduce to form" is from 1640s; sense of "render formal" is from 1855. Related: Formalized; formalizing.
formally (adv.)
late 14c., "in good form, in an orderly manner," also "by kind," from formal + -ly (2). Meaning "in prescribed or customary form" is from 1560s.
informal (adj.)
mid-15c., "lacking form; not in accordance with the rules of formal logic," from in- (1) "not, opposite of" + formal (adj.). Meaning "irregular, unofficial, not according to rule or custom" is from c. 1600. Sense of "done without ceremony" is from 1828. Related: Informally.