Comes from the Latin term meaning "for the sake of form"..
It means to do something that is always done.
It is something that is necessary to do, but done mostly the same way every time.
It is pro forma that I lock my door when I leave the house. ~ since you always do it... it is a habit or a ritual.
When you start a new job... it is pro forma that you fill out forms.
It is something done by everyone and is considered a formality (something done because it has always been done that way).
Very often... no one knows why a pro form thing is done, because it's been done that way for so long.
When someone says that filling out a form is pro forma - they mean it is not only for you to do - but everyone has to fill out that form.
© 2011 New Word A Day