\ ˈblak-ˌtī How to pronounce black-tie (audio) \

Definition of black-tie

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: characterized by or requiring the wearing of semiformal evening clothes consisting of a usually black tie and tuxedo for men and a formal dress for women a black-tie dinner — compare white-tie

black tie


Definition of black tie (Entry 2 of 2)

: semiformal clothing gentlemen in black tie for the banquet

Examples of black-tie in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In July, the award show's executive producers and sent out a letter informing nominees that this year's dress code is not its standard black tie affair. Brittany Talarico,, "Jennifer Aniston's Sexy Black Gown and Major Tan at the 2020 Emmys Prove Some Things Never Change," 20 Sep. 2020 This year, as the sun set on the terrace ahead of the opening night, a few festival-goers in black tie and gowns sipped cocktails as hotel guests returned from the beach in their bathing suits. Nicole Winfield, Star Tribune, "Venice opens 'miraculous' film festival, but veterans lament," 2 Sep. 2020 Sadly, on-screen performances don’t hold a candle to the breathtaking in-person showings at the Met Opera itself—but at least in your living room, black tie is very optional. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "After Closure, the Met Opera Offers Free Streaming of Past Performances," 16 Mar. 2020 But the spirited crowds weren’t assembled in midtown on Tuesday night for the history, although the club’s members and guests were in fine form in the front row, wearing black tie attire to honor their past. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Siba the Standard Poodle Wins the 2020 Westminster Dog Show With a Regal Attitude," 12 Feb. 2020 Two-tone coated cotton-poplin halterneck midi dress Tibi $650.00 SHOP NOW This dress works for cocktail and black tie weddings alike. Sara Holzman, Marie Claire, "What to Wear to a Spring Wedding," 14 Jan. 2020 On either side of her, the Beckham men then sported elegant black tuxedos with white button-ups, black ties (David’s a bow-tie, Brooklyn’s a classic tie) and black oxfords. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "The Beckhams Prove They’re Fashion’s Chicest Family," 4 Sep. 2019 The invitations tell us to gussy up in cocktail party finery or loose our imagination with creative black tie. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Our clothes tell our story. What happens when the narrative is just pajamas and sweats?," 16 Mar. 2020 The student wore a dark brown dress shirt tucked into tan pants with a black tie and matching dress shoes., "Boy’s Nazi costume at elementary school Halloween parade sparks outrage - The Boston Globe," 5 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'black-tie.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of black-tie


1933, in the meaning defined above


1951, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of black-tie was in 1933

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Cite this Entry

“Black-tie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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