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  1  definition  found 
  From  Webster's  Revised  Unabridged  Dictionary  (1913)  [web1913]: 
  Formalist  \Form"al*ist\,  n.  [Cf.  F.  formaliste.] 
  One  overattentive  to  forms,  or  too  much  confined  to  them 
  esp.,  one  who  rests  in  external  religious  forms,  or  observes 
  strictly  the  outward  forms  of  worship,  without  possessing  the 
  life  and  spirit  of  religion. 
  As  far  a  formalist  from  wisdom  sits,  In  judging  eyes, 
  as  libertines  from  wits.  --Young.