\ˈblak-ˌtī \

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

According to Hamilton's memory, Sanders appeared that day exactly how anyone familiar with KFC would imagine him, wearing the unmistakable white suit with a black tie. Abby Jones, Billboard, "Here's What the New KFC Colonel George Hamilton Thinks of Reba McEntire's Portrayal," 20 Apr. 2018 Scan any black tie event, any gala, and there will be a woman channeling Marlene Dietrich in a tuxedo. Vanessa Friedman, New York Times, "Miss America Gets to Dress Herself," 9 June 2018 Paired with an ethereal Vera Wang tulle ballgown and a wispy chignon, Kapoor's intricately drawn on accessory was the ultimate black tie addition. Vogue, "This Bollywood Actress Just Stepped Out in the Most Head-Turning Henna at Cannes," 16 May 2018 On Thursday, Trump touched down in the United Kingdom and attended a black tie dinner with Prime Minister Theresa May at Blenheim Palace, which is in Oxfordshire and far from London. Annie Linskey,, "Donald Trump has long obsession with the British royal family," 13 July 2018 Though surprising, the trend is actually not uncommon in the UK, where weddings may consist of a cocktail attire-appropriate church ceremony followed by a black tie reception. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Everything You Need to Know About Pippa Middleton's Wedding," 20 May 2017 For the reception, Cuoco changed into a lacy white jumpsuit while Cook continued wearing a traditional suit with a black tie. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "'Big Bang Theory' star Kaley Cuoco marries Karl Cook in horse-themed ceremony," 1 July 2018 The style was a modern take on black tie that coordinated perfectly with Odessa. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Jaden Smith Went to His Girlfriend’s Prom Wearing Bell Bottoms," 31 May 2018 The day was crowned with a magnificent black tie dinner at the Villa Medici, the 1544 mannerist architectural masterpiece of Annibale Lippi which has long served as the French Academy in Rome. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Where Hamish Bowles Partied, Shopped, and Marveled at Architecture in Rome," 22 June 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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Statistics for black-tie

Last Updated

21 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for black-tie

The first known use of black-tie was in 1933

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evasion of direct action or statement

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