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fancy dress

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noun
  1. a costume for a ball, masquerade, etc., chosen to please the fancy, usually a costume characteristic of a particular period or place, class of persons, or historical or fictitious character.

Origin of fancy dress

First recorded in 1760–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for fancy dress

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • On the day after the review a fancy-dress ball was to be given at Court.

    Vivian Grey

    Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli

  • Is it an offence to go to a fancy-dress ball in a police officer's uniform?

    The Grell Mystery

    Frank Froest

  • "We all knew this wasn't going to be a fancy-dress ball when we came," he said.

    Despoilers of the Golden Empire

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • There they got up a fancy-dress party an' enjoyed themselves, an' it's brought in all this.

  • She turned the simplest gathering to a fancy-dress ball, he decided.

    Mrs. Dud's Sister

    Josephine Daskam


British Dictionary definitions for fancy dress

fancy dress

noun
    1. costume worn at masquerades, etc, usually representing a particular role, historical figure, etc
    2. (as modifier)a fancy-dress ball
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012