Formal language

a language designed for use in situations in which natural language is unsuitable, as for example in mathematics, logic, or computer programming. The symbols and formulas of such languages stand in precisely specified syntactic and semantic relations to one another
(logic) a logistic system for which an interpretation is provided: distinguished from formal calculus in that the semantics enable it to be regarded as about some subject matter

any language of symbols and formulas developed for systems which cannot work with natural language, such as computer programming and mathematics


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  • Formal-logic

    noun 1. the branch of logic concerned exclusively with the principles of deductive reasoning and with the form rather than the content of propositions. noun 1. Also called symbolic logic. the study of systems of deductive argument in which symbols are used to represent precisely defined categories of expressions Compare philosophical logic 2. a specific […]

  • Formally

    [fawr-muh-lee] /ˈfɔr mə li/ adverb 1. in a manner: The store was formally opened on Tuesday. 2. as regards form; in form: It may be formally correct, but it is substantively wrong. adv. c.1400, “in good form,” from formal + -ly (2). Meaning “in prescribed or customary form” is from 1560s.

  • Formal methods

    mathematics, specification Mathematically based techniques for the specification, development and verification of software and hardware systems. Referentially transparent languages are amenable to symbolic manipulation allowing program transformation (e.g. changing a clear inefficient specification into an obscure but efficient program) and proof of correctness. Oxford FM archive ( (1996-05-15)

  • Formal mode

    noun 1. (philosophy) the style in which words are explicitly mentioned rather than used of their subject matter. “Fido” is a dog’s name is in the formal mode, while “Fido is a dog” is in the material mode See also mention (sense 7)

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