\ 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 the ’90s, that meant long beachy waves and paisley shirts at events where everyone else was decked out in black tie—his boho True Romance premiere outfit is a still a thing of beauty. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "At 55, Brad Pitt Is Still a Menswear Icon for the Ages," 18 Dec. 2018 In fact, jeans might be on the same path as sneakers: once considered taboo outside the gym, now acceptable at black tie events and on the red carpet. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Can You Wear Jeans in the Office? Here’s How 14 Vogue Editors Do It," 15 Feb. 2019 Met Gala co-host Amal Clooney kicked off the carpet in chic black tie trousers that are basically Chicken Soup for the Fashion Lovers Soul., "The Met Gala's Best Dressed Stars, According to Our Editors," 8 May 2018 Even the wait staff, in their red jackets and black ties, seem timeless. Rico Gagliano, WSJ, "This Iconic Hollywood Restaurant Lets You Travel Back in Time," 13 Feb. 2019 For women who shudder at the thought of fancy, floor-length gowns, Philo’s Céline has been a go-to for black tie events. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Phoebe Philo Designed 17 Runway Collections at Céline, Here Are All of Them in Order of Greatness," 24 Jan. 2018 For the black tie event, Kate wore a second ivory McQueen gown with silver embellishments, and William changed from his Irish Guards uniform into a tuxedo and bow tie. Marcia Moody, Town & Country, "Why Pippa Middleton's Guests Have to Bring Two Outfits to Her Wedding," 19 May 2017 Along with his gold jacket, Moss sported a black tie with the names of a dozen black men and women , who were either killed by police or died in police custody, printed in gold letters. Fox News, "Ray Lewis urges togetherness in Hall of Fame speech after Randy Moss' political statement," 5 Aug. 2018 The dress code was black tie, a full orchestra played, a massive brigade of white tuxedo-wearing waiters served the meal by candlelight. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "At a Celeb-Filled 50th Anniversary Show, Ralph Lauren Was Back on Top, Doubters Be Damned," 10 Sep. 2018

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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a shady place in a garden or forest

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