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variants or less commonly black tie
: 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

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: semiformal clothing
gentlemen in black tie for the banquet

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
With contemporary dress codes ranging from black tie to festive, deciphering the intricacies of invitations can often be challenging. Sarah Lyon, New York Times, 22 Dec. 2022 The dress' white oxford collar, cuffs, and oversized black tie were the perfect Nevermore touch. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 17 Dec. 2022 The couple shared an intimate glimpse of the two of them in a kitchen, dressed in black tie, which appears to be after an event. Alex Apatoff, Peoplemag, 1 Dec. 2022 Preppy Ivy League with Polo Ralph Lauren, cowboy western workwear with RRL, and black tie-only events with Purple Label. Dallas News, 30 Nov. 2022 The message was noticed by the generally younger, more junior publishing-industry members who showed up for the after-party at 10 p.m. — when technically correct black tie started to give way to avant-garde party pants and micro Telfar bags. Erin Schwartz, Vulture, 18 Nov. 2022 This black tie event is set in the era of flappers and bootleggers. Frederick Dreier, Outside Online, 8 Dec. 2022 Dressed in a white shirt and black tie, Syed smiled while descending the courthouse steps to the raucous cheers of supporters, family and friends. Alex Mann, Baltimore Sun, 19 Sep. 2022 For the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscars afterparty, Zendaya underscored her flair for menswear in a black Sportmax suit with a hot pink dress shirt and shiny black tie, plus Bulgari jewelry. Catherine Santino, Peoplemag, 12 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use


1933, in the meaning defined above


1951, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of black-tie was in 1933

Dictionary Entries Near black-tie

Cite this Entry

“Black-tie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

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