Definition of full dress in English:

full dress


  • Clothes worn on ceremonial or formal occasions.

    • ‘The event at the Marriott saw many Scots attending, some in full dress regalia (plus Thais, English, Australians, Indians, and anyone else who enjoy food and fun).’
    • ‘Although this is the full dress uniform worn at the time of the Crimean War, a slightly more comfortable jacket was worn on campaign with a lower and plainer collar.’
    • ‘A full dress rehearsal will take place on Sunday next in Sligo, with all the costumes and performers in attendance, before the participants head, in convoy, to Dublin on March 16, the eve of St Patrick's Day.’
    • ‘The best parts of the documentary were when the re-enactors, in full dress, were talking on cellphones or riding around in Saabs.’
    • ‘He was dressed in full-dress whites, with a Purple Heart awarded for wounds received in battle on his chest.’
    • ‘Some posing intensely for a professional portrait in their Marine full-dress uniforms, others in candid pictures dressed simply in their Army fatigues, smiling into the camera.’
    • ‘Jack, attired in full dress blues, stood from his seat as the shuttle touched down on the Constitution's hangar deck.’
    • ‘In one brief scene, if you look hard, you can catch a glimpse of a full-dress tunic, but only for a second.’
    • ‘Students wear either khakis or a full-dress military uniform every day and respond to adults with a curt ‘Yes, sir’ or ‘No, sir.’’
    • ‘Gold lace became confined to flag officers in both dress and undress uniforms; captains wore it only in full dress.’
    • ‘Members of the city administration were in full dress uniforms as they assembled at the King Taksin Monument in front of City Hall, together with many residents from the surrounding area.’
    • ‘They appear in full dress on special occasions such as the investiture of a new society member, the mourning in honor of a deceased member or chief, or the visit of an administrative or religious authority.’
    • ‘At one stop in New Hampshire two mounted police in full dress uniforms met the train.’
    • ‘The advisor was attired in full dress regalia with a sidearm on his hip.’
    • ‘Panels, friezes, and columns all bear extraordinarily beautiful scenes of jungle animals, Maya gods, warriors in full dress, and so on.’
    • ‘Instead of arriving in full dress, as a powerful baron, Harold was arriving alone and under guard, at once in William's debt for having rescued him from Count Guy and yet also uncomfortably like a prisoner being taken to court.’
    • ‘The Queen's Horse Guards, who are usually out at dawn, were uncharacteristically in spectacular full dress today, with carriage amidst them.’
    • ‘But no one would question the Marine in full dress, even if there was a young girl at his side.’
    • ‘It's the first time he's worn his full dress army uniform.’
    • ‘The SS developed its version of the army's field-grey combat uniform, with its own distinctive badges of rank on the collar, retaining black for full dress.’


  • [attributive] Denoting an event, activity, or process that is treated with complete seriousness or that possesses all the characteristics of a genuine example of the type.

    ‘shuttle diplomacy might be better than a full-dress conference’
    • ‘Murder and rape convictions, especially those with a prospect of capital punishment, generally follow a full-dress trial with all its elaborate rights and protections for the defendant.’
    • ‘It is here that he is more obviously preparing the ground for his breakthrough in values, which gets full-dress treatment in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.’
    • ‘This one is a Cruikshank plate showing a middle-class family having a full-dress meltdown while they try to pack their teenage son's trunk preparatory to him going off with the Navy.’
    • ‘The full-dress biography by Walter Isaacson fortunately transcends the limits of conventional hagiography, even though the author makes large claims for his subject and extravagant claims for the Republic he helped to create.’
    • ‘The law of armed conflict thus allows measures, such as the preventive internment of enemy combatants during the conflict, that do not require the full-dress procedure of criminal trials.’
    • ‘It is as if a musician found he could only perform in official full-dress concerts, without the ability to practice on his own or in smaller groups; or a writer found he could only write when he was being paid to write.’
    • ‘The final full-dress portrait of Pompadour, by Francois-Hubert Drouais in 1764, is a marvellous evocation of the Marquise at the height of her political powers in these final years of her life.’
    • ‘In one sat Hammer, full dress uniform, full dress smile.’
    • ‘Would it require a full-dress trial, with a decision on the merits, in order to prevent prior restraint problems?’
    • ‘The men were interned after barely escaping a full-dress skirmish with the local gendarmes.’
    • ‘It was hard for the full-dress diver to walk across the seabed carrying the weight of the lead.’
    • ‘I mean, of course, Richard Move, whose full-dress impersonations of Graham are more true to life than Graham herself was.’
    • ‘Tenderness is pushed nearly to the point of parody in a full-dress tableau that departs from the Renaissance theme.’
    • ‘The Administration also advocates that under the law of armed conflict the detainees can be held at Guantanamo Bay until the conclusion of the war against terror and without the full-dress procedure of criminal trials.’
    • ‘I never thought I would see, in Europe, a full-dress reprise of internment camps, the mass murder of civilians, the reinstitution of torture and rape as acts of policy.’
    • ‘His account of the 1959 visit to the United States - Khrushchev's ecstasy over his full-dress welcome, his violent public rows, his bizarre encounter with Hollywood - is a treasure.’


full dress

/ˈfo͝ol ˌdres/