1 of 2


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

full dress

2 of 2


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

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
That suggests something less than a full-dress criminal trial may suffice; but clearly some process has to exist to decide whether any particular individual is covered. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, 25 Dec. 2023
Thursday, at 2 p.m., the Blue Angels will practice over Pensacola Beach, with a full dress rehearsal on Friday with flight demonstrations and civilian aerobatic performances starting at noon, with the Blue Angels to follow at 2 p.m. Warren Kulo | Wkulo@al.com, al, 29 June 2023 Anne wore her Royal Navy ceremonial uniform in the rank of Admiral, a navy blue double-breasted jacket with gold buttons, a standing collar edged with gold, a full dress sword belt with three stripes and the traditional white and navy tricorn ceremonial hat. Monique Jessen, Peoplemag, 21 Sep. 2022 As Chad celebrated 60 years of independence last summer, President Idriss Déby, a former army general who once routed Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi’s troops in the Sahara Desert, donned white gloves and full dress uniform to receive the honorary rank of marshal. Washington Post, 20 Apr. 2021 Before the test, SpaceX astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley performed a full dress rehearsal. Hailey Rose McLaughlin, Discover Magazine, 20 Jan. 2020 Another work of art created in captivity is an oil portrait of American First Lt. Louis M. Edens, in full dress uniform, done by an unknown Russian POW; both were serving time in a German camp. Mark Yost, WSJ, 9 Nov. 2022 Christopher Joll described exactly what goes into the fitting of these full dress uniforms—not to mention the other eight different orders of dress that each officer is required to own upon graduating from Sandhurst. Sarah Mower, Vogue, 18 Sep. 2022 It’s all built on a soft sub roll with a full dress of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, vinegar, oil and brown mustard to keep things from getting too stiff and formal. Mike Sutter, San Antonio Express-News, 26 Aug. 2022 Wearing an animal print two-piece with sparkles and feathers, the JLo Beauty founder worked her way through a full dress rehearsal for the show, reported La Repubblica. Giovana Gelhoren, PEOPLE.com, 30 July 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'full-dress.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1761, in the meaning defined above


1748, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of full-dress was in 1748

Dictionary Entries Near full-dress

full dress



Cite this Entry

“Full-dress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/full-dress. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

full dress

: the style of dress required on certain special occasions
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