Definition of full-dress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: involving attention to every detail in preparation or execution a full-dress rehearsal a full-dress investigation

full dress


Definition of full dress (Entry 2 of 2)

: the style of dress prescribed for ceremonial or formal social occasions

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Examples of full-dress in a Sentence

Noun The Army required full dress be worn to the event. The officers were in full dress.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But Mbatha reveled watching the full dress ensemble on the screen. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "'Coming 2 America' wedding dress was so massive, bride Nomzamo Mbatha needed help to the altar," 13 Mar. 2021 Standing in the main area of the narcotics division, where McCarthy worked, was a female sergeant in full dress uniform with blonde hair and green eyes — just like her own. Kc Baker, PEOPLE.com, "9/11 Terror Attack on World Trade Center Inspires Former NYPD Detective to Find Birth Family," 11 Sep. 2020 The honor guard fires the three-shot rifle volley salute, fold and present the flag, and play Taps, the only local Honor Guard that conducts the ceremony in full dress military uniforms. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "Vietnam vet who died after botched 911 response to receive military salute," 25 May 2020 In a full dress rehearsal the day before, the flares worn by sky divers singed the field. Kevin Draper, New York Times, "Shakira? J. Lo? This Halftime Show Had Snakes and Indiana Jones," 30 Jan. 2020 Above my head, full dress-grey overcast lifts to blues and Bob Ross happy clouds. Matt Farwell, The New Republic, "My Own Private Decade From Hell," 30 Dec. 2019 Active-duty service members routinely wear their full dress uniforms to testify on Capitol Hill. Alex Horton, Anchorage Daily News, "Vindman’s dress uniform in impeachment inquiry reveals tug of war using troops as political totems, experts say," 19 Nov. 2019 Two older women in full dress and makeup gaze back at Maier’s lens. Steve Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Exclusive look at new photographs by Vivian Maier: U. of C. gets thousands of never-before-seen-prints made by famed photographer," 22 Aug. 2019 Nearby were Star Wars characters in full dress for photos. Linda Gandee/special To Cleveland.com, cleveland, "More than 2,000 people brought the kids to Boo By the Woods at the Avon Lake Public Library," 21 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'full-dress.' 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 full-dress


1761, in the meaning defined above


1748, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for full-dress

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The first known use of full-dress was in 1748

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Cite this Entry

“Full-dress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/full-dress. Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of full-dress

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: involving attention to every detail : very complete or full

full dress


English Language Learners Definition of full dress (Entry 2 of 2)

: special clothes that are worn for a ceremony or for important social occasions

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