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formal “retaining the proper and essential characteristic” (Johnson's Dict. ), rational, sane: “To make of him a formal man again” THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, v. 1. 105 ( “to bring him back to his senses, and the forms of sober behaviour. So, in Measure for Measure, v. 1. 234, ‘ informal women,’ for just the contrary,” STEEVENS) “any formal capacity” TWELFTH NIGHT, ii. 5. 108 ( “any one in his senses, any one whose capacity is not disarranged, or out of form,” STEEVENS) “the formal vice” RICHARD III., iii. 1. 82 (the Vice who “puts on a formal demeanour,” THEOBALD ; “perhaps means the shrewd, the sensible Vice,” MALONE ; “the regular Vice, according to the form of the old dramas,” Nares's Gloss., sub “Iniquity;” “the Vice who conducts himself according to a set form,” KNIGHT) (see Vice—Like to the old, etc.); “Not like a formal man” ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, ii. 5. 41. (a “decent, regular man,” JOHNSON ; “a man in his senses,” STEEVENS ; “a man in form, that is, shape,” MALONE ; a man “in a right form, an usual shape,” Nares's Gloss. )

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  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (3):
    • William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra, 2.5
    • William Shakespeare, The Comedy of Errors, 5.1
    • William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Or what you will, 2.5
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