fancy dress


Definition of fancy dress

: a costume (as for a masquerade) chosen to suit the wearer's fancy

Examples of fancy dress in a Sentence

Everyone wore fancy dress for the ball.
Recent Examples on the Web But, a quince isn’t just about the flashy party, the decadent cakes and fancy dress. Thalia Juarez, Washington Post, "A glimpse into a tradition celebrated in Latino communities," 15 June 2019 The caftans gave way to fancier dresses, like a stunning embroidered moire gown in a peacock hue. Washington Post, "Dominican vibes and a youthful feel at Oscar de la Renta," 11 Sep. 2019 Ishikawa is often seen photographed wearing fancy dresses and flowing skirts paired with sneakers—a way to rebel against society’s rules. Vivian Rachelle, Quartz, "Japan’s #KuToo movement is fighting back against regressive dress codes for women," 29 Aug. 2019 In the United Kingdom, fancy dress means wearing a costume. CNN, "Passenger dressed as a clown causes mass brawl on cruise ship, witnesses say," 28 July 2019 TankLimo is two British Army armored personnel carriers welded into a single, lumbering beast of a vehicle, capable of taking five teenage couples to their fancy dress party in relative (for an ex-army vehicle, anyway) comfort. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Take a Ride in This Tank Limo for Just $2,000 a Day," 30 July 2019 But, a quince isn’t just about the flashy party, the decadent cakes and fancy dress. Thalia Juarez,, "A glimpse into a centuries-old tradition celebrated in Baltimore's Latino communities," 10 June 2019 What’s better than a red carpet moment in a fancy dress? Meagan Fredette, Teen Vogue, "Naomi Scott Won the Red Carpet in a Bubblegum Pink Brandon Maxwell Gown," 22 May 2019 Sneakers and fancy dresses aren't usually the most obvious pairing, especially during the holidays when party dress codes can be stricter than usual. Rajni Lucienne Jacques, Teen Vogue, "How to Get Away With Wearing Sneakers to All Your Holiday Parties," 17 Dec. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of fancy dress

1770, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fancy dress

Statistics for fancy dress

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for fancy dress

The first known use of fancy dress was in 1770

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fancy dress

fancy dress


English Language Learners Definition of fancy dress

chiefly British : special clothes that you wear to a party where people are dressed to look like famous people, characters, etc.

Comments on fancy dress

What made you want to look up fancy dress? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to engage in dissolute behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!