from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, appropriate for, or requiring full dress; formal: a full-dress uniform; a full-dress ceremony.
  • adj. Complete in every respect: a full-dress debate.
  • adj. Characterized by exhaustive thoroughness: a full-dress investigation of the scandal.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. suitable for formal occasions.
  • adj. requiring formal clothes; -- of a social event.
  • adj. complete in every respect, including formalities; ; a full-dress investigation.
  • n. full evening dress for men.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Appropriate to occasions of form or ceremony: as, a full-dress costume. See full dress, under dress.
  • Formal; elaborate; requiring full dress: as, a, full-dress reception.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (of an occasion) requiring formal clothes
  • adj. suitable for formal occasions
  • adj. complete in every respect


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Five years of full-dress dinners, Latin grammar, lacrosse, and daily chapel, lacquered me to a glossy Boston-Episcopalian sheen, so that by the time I arrived at Dartmouth

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  • This is the first full-dress show in Britain for half a century.

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  • After the Great Avatar-Betsey Johnson blowout on Thursday, I don't have it in me to do a full-dress review of the two (!) things we saw last night.

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  • The influence of top-tier producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, whose credits include the Oscar-winning movie version of Chicago, can be felt in those razzle-dazzling moments when a sweaty rehearsal suddenly shifts into a full-dress production number, the dream realized if only in their heads for now.

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  • On the idea of a full-dress debate, Keefer said, "I'm certain there was never any mention of an audience."

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  • Until now these were divided between an hourlong documentary and a full-dress performance, both brilliantly conceived, executed, filmed and edited.

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  • In another picture taken the same year, there is only one person on the sidewalk in front of the Eastern Air Lines building in Rockefeller Plaza, a doorman wearing a full-dress uniform cap.

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  • Donald Alston, a large, somewhat florid-faced man in full-dress Air Force uniform.

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  • Sui generis law, such as semiconductor chip protection and vessel hull design protection, for subject matter in need of some protection against lazy copying but not needing full-dress protection.

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  • They include salon-style hangings of portraits from the early 19th century to today in "The Artist Revealed: A Panorama of Great Artist Portraits"; 100 American paintings 1820s to the 1970s from the NAM's permanent collection of more than 7,000 pictures in "An American Collection"; as well as three shows featuring works of representational and abstract painting, architecture and sculpture by contemporary and postwar academicians; and the full-dress, late-career retrospective "Will Barnet at 100."

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