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90s Slang You Should Know

fancy dress

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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for fancy dress
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Miss Hope looked as if she were in fancy dress; Lavroff, the Russian, is unkempt, with thick eyebrows and dark eyes.

    Passing By Maurice Baring
  • And all these people had a veritable mania for declamation and fancy dress.

    The Octopus Frank Norris
  • His sinlessness wears his incarnation like a fancy dress, all his white self unchanged.

    First and Last Things H. G. Wells
  • "Indulging your taste for fancy dress," he went on with faint irony.

    The Rescue Joseph Conrad
  • He declared himself at one of the earlier meetings as out and out for fancy dress, but was outvoted.

    The Story of Louie Oliver Onions
  • There were a few years when fancy dress parties were all the rage.

    History of Linn County Iowa Luther A. Brewer
  • Among the guests was President Buchanan, though not, of course, in fancy dress.

    As I Remember Marian Gouverneur
  • She was also going to the fancy ball, and she wished for a fancy dress immediately.

    A Sister of the Red Cross Mrs. L. T. Meade
  • The prints are strongly romanticized and must be regarded as a record of something between historical and fancy dress.

British Dictionary definitions for fancy dress

fancy dress

  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
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