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full dress

the formal attire customarily worn in the evening, usually consisting of black tailcoats and white bow ties for men, and floor-length dresses for women.
a ceremonial style of dress.
Origin of full dress


[foo l-dres] /ˈfʊlˌdrɛs/
formal and complete in all details:
a full-dress uniform.
done or presented completely or thoroughly.
1755-65 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for full-dress
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No matter; I was in a full-dress admiral's uniform then, and from me cocked hat to me bare toes I was some class.

    Sonnie-Boy's People James B. Connolly
  • Then he grimly changed his garments for the full-dress uniform of the Med Service.

    Pariah Planet Murray Leinster
  • Informal receptions and full-dress occasions of the same kind are announced somewhat differently.

    Social Life Maud C. Cooke
  • "Some night you must put on your full-dress suit too," she whispered.

    Rich Man, Poor Man Maximilian Foster
  • St. Clair gave his cap of gold braid to Billy and shifted his "full-dress" sword-belt.

    Billy and the Big Stick Richard Harding Davis
  • Titus and Breckenridge each glanced at a new, full-dress sword.

    Notes of a War Correspondent Richard Harding Davis
  • A full-dress parade had been commanded, for the sole purpose, it was growled, of giving scope to the majors restless energies.

    Atlantic Narratives Mary Antin
  • In fact, the whole thing went off like a full-dress rehearsal.

    Mortmain Arthur Cheny Train
  • These ladies appeared in very elegant Court dresses, and Mr. Palmer in a full-dress Court suit.

    Yarmouth Notes Frederick Danby Palmer
British Dictionary definitions for full-dress

full dress

  1. a formal or ceremonial style of dress, such as white tie and tails for a man and a full-length evening dress for a woman
  2. (as modifier): full-dress uniform
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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