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white tie

formal evening dress for men (distinguished from black tie).
a white bow tie for men, worn with formal evening dress.


[hwahyt-tahy, wahyt-] /ˈʰwaɪtˈtaɪ, ˈwaɪt-/
requiring that guests wear formal attire, especially that men wear white bow ties with formal evening dress:
a white-tie embassy reception.
Compare black-tie.
Origin of white-tie
1950-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for white tie
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Far better the blithe modern pagan in his white tie and evening clothes, and his facile philosophy.

  • Then I returned home, and a footman with a white tie opens the door for me.

  • His dress coat had been exchanged for a velvet dinner jacket, and his white tie for a drooping black bow.

    The Double Four E. Phillips Oppenheim
  • Wish he'd taught himself not to wear a white tie with a dinner jacket!

    In Brief Authority F. Anstey
  • Had a white shirt and white tie and white—white trousers, and looked very nice.

    Warren Commission (6 of 26): Hearings Vol. VI (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • It's given me more trouble than any white tie, my boy—but it must do as it is.

    In Brief Authority F. Anstey
  • Max wanted to know how a fellow could possibly “talk Shylock” in a white tie and an evening jacket.

    About Peggy Saville Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey
  • He was dressing for dinner, tying his white tie into a very careful bow.

    Sixes and Sevens O. Henry
  • A little man in a white tie brought the great register to the table.

    The Nabob Alphonse Daudet
British Dictionary definitions for white tie

white tie

a white bow tie worn as part of a man's formal evening dress
  1. formal evening dress for men
  2. (as modifier): a white-tie occasion
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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