Definition of white tie in US English:

white tie


  • 1A white bow tie worn by men as part of full evening dress.

    • ‘Haines was flanked by the tight guitar/bass duo of James Shaw and Josh Winstead (in matching new wave white ties, no less), with Joules Scott-Key maintaining the driving dance beat on the kit.’
    • ‘Officials asked the university senate to enforce a historic dress code barring all forms of dress apart from traditional white ties and suits.’
    • ‘The Hives also get big points for those stylish white ties that they never seem to take off.’
    • ‘People can often be intimidated by the white tie and tails, or simply by the word ‘tenor’ which tends to alienate many.’
    • ‘This was five-man boy band Surge, who came on in black shirts and trousers with white ties, doing a synchronised R & B dance routine to their soca hybrid song In Your Timing Girl.’
    • ‘Another favourite for Win was a ceremony in the theme of Chicago gangsters, the men in black shirts and white ties and carrying violin cases.’
    • ‘Heather looked stunning in a white lace dress and Alfie wore a white tie and tails.’
    • ‘Bells tolled and 12 pallbearers wearing white gloves, white ties and tails, who had served the Pontiff during his 26 years in office, bore the coffin on their shoulders to the crypt beneath the basilica for burial.’
    1. 1.1 Full evening dress with a white bow tie.
      ‘he was wearing immaculate white tie and tails’
      as modifier ‘a white-tie dinner’
      • ‘The men were elegant in dark tailcoats and white tie, the women dazzling in rich jewels and dresses, the colours of which seemed to span the entire spectrum of the rainbow.’
      • ‘I don't think Wozzeck should be played in white tie and tails.’
      • ‘Remember that wonderful picture of the great Gary Cooper and Clark Gable in white tie drinking champagne?’
      • ‘I did ponder going for the black trousers, black shirt, white tie approach… only for the chance to tell people I had an audition for the Hives afterwards!’
      • ‘The only rig permitted at most of the Highland balls is white tie or Highland dress.’
      • ‘Social Scientist Jim Sleeper quit the Yale Glee Club after his junior year, in 1968, because, as he has told me, ‘With all that was going on in the world, I couldn't spend the weekends touring in white-tie.’’
      • ‘Technically, open collars are only supposed to be worn with white tie.’
      • ‘If you give them your measurements in advance you ought to be okay - I've had both black and white tie from there without fittings and it's been okay.’
      • ‘And so von Sternberg said to her, Why don't you wear white tie and tails for the first time they see you, really see you perform?’
      • ‘In Blonde Venus, Helen uses her nightclub act to satirize male roles, first as a ‘gentleman’ in white-tie and tails and long cigarette holder, then as a gorilla.’
      • ‘Then out comes a comic magician in white tie who does a long card trick that depends heavily on the continued reappearance of a black card in a group of red cards.’
      • ‘Every year Britain's serving prime minister delivers a speech dealing with foreign policy to the Lord Mayor of London's official banquet, dressed in white tie and tails.’
      • ‘He was in top hat, white tie and tails - attire with which a cane is optional.’
      • ‘Ladies were asked to wear red dress or romantic ball gowns and gentlemen were asked to wear black or white tie.’
      • ‘The dress code is white tie and diamonds, so the Beckhams will have a chance to show off a few of their prized rocks.’
      • ‘Its atmosphere ranges from the elegant to the ridiculous, from white tie and tails to barbecue and bumper cars.’
      • ‘If we were in Semi-Monde, and I was debonair in white-tie and she was diaphanous in her black-and-gold evening gown, I'd languidly reply: ‘Thanks.’’
      • ‘Astros brass on board included coach Phil Garner, who showed up in white tie and tails, his wife, Carol, on his arm.’
      • ‘He came faultlessly dressed in the formal white tie and tails.’
      • ‘They would never host an occasion of state that isn't white tie, in part because they know that so few Americans own their own tailcoats.’


white tie

/ˌ(h)wīt ˈtī//ˌ(h)waɪt ˈtaɪ/