Definition of full dress in US English:

full dress


  • Clothes worn on ceremonial or formal occasions.

    • ‘The Queen's Horse Guards, who are usually out at dawn, were uncharacteristically in spectacular full dress today, with carriage amidst them.’
    • ‘It's the first time he's worn his full dress army uniform.’
    • ‘Jack, attired in full dress blues, stood from his seat as the shuttle touched down on the Constitution's hangar deck.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But no one would question the Marine in full dress, even if there was a young girl at his side.’
    • ‘The advisor was attired in full dress regalia with a sidearm on his hip.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In one brief scene, if you look hard, you can catch a glimpse of a full-dress tunic, but only for a second.’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Students wear either khakis or a full-dress military uniform every day and respond to adults with a curt ‘Yes, sir’ or ‘No, sir.’’
    • ‘He was dressed in full-dress whites, with a Purple Heart awarded for wounds received in battle on his chest.’
    • ‘The best parts of the documentary were when the re-enactors, in full dress, were talking on cellphones or riding around in Saabs.’


  • 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’


full dress

/ˈfo͝ol ˌdres/