\ 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

Flash dance: Oh, my! Some scantily clad ladies showed up at the recent black tie gala of the La Jolla Music Society. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: City schools chief Cindy Marten shares a big summer vacation surprise," 28 Aug. 2019 Osborn had written his own obituary and planned every detail of the elaborate service, including the strict dress code: Men in dark suits with a gray or black tie and a white pocket handkerchief. Christopher Wynn, Dallas News, "Memorial service for Neiman Marcus stylemaker Derrill Osborn was as elegant and original as he was," 28 July 2019 Asghari wore a handsome beige suit with a skinny black tie. Ashley Boucher,, "Britney Spears and Sam Asghari Make First Premiere Appearance as a Couple," 23 July 2019 Then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer celebrated this past New Year’s Eve at a black tie party. Washington Post, "In a divided Washington, British ambassador was a bridge," 10 July 2019 Formal suggests less fancy than black tie, which is an after-5 p.m. ceremony, usually held in a nice event space with dresses longer in length. Christen A. Johnson,, "Experts talk good (and bad) wedding guest etiquette: Consider going alone and know how much to gift," 1 July 2019 Other items include mesh, high-waisted briefs, red briefs accented with black ties, and a lilac bra covered in black lace. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Playful Promises and Gabi Fresh Created Another Size-Inclusive Lingerie Line," 18 Apr. 2019 Most directors whose movies play the Cannes Film Festival are eager to fly to the south of France to walk the red carpet clad in black tie. Amy Kaufman,, "AIDS doc ‘5B,’ co-directed by Paul Haggis, uses star power to raise awareness," 17 June 2019 If this year’s gala is more glamorous than in the past, that’s thanks to Giambattista Valli and H&M, who are announcing their collaboration at the black tie affair tonight. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Giambattista Valli is H&M’s New Designer Collaborator—And His Limited Edition Dresses Are Dropping This Saturday," 23 May 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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Time Traveler for black-tie

The first known use of black-tie was in 1933

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suitable to be imparted to the public

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