fancy dress

See synonyms for fancy dress on
  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

Words Nearby fancy dress Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use fancy dress in a sentence

  • Crowds of masqueraders filled the pavements, the restaurants, and the theatres, where fancy-dress balls were held.

    Vie de Bohme | Orlo Williams
  • On the day of Mid-Lent—or rather, at eight on the morning after—Dinah came home from the ball in her fancy dress to go to bed.

    Parisians in the Country | Honore de Balzac
  • Satin stripes are frequent in madras, shirtings, and fancy dress goods in connection with plain and figured weaves.

    Textiles | William H. Dooley
  • I cant think why it is, but I go through life feeling as if I were perpetually wearin fancy-dress.

    The Bishop's Apron | W. Somerset Maugham

British Dictionary definitions for fancy dress

fancy dress

    • costume worn at masquerades, etc, usually representing a particular role, historical figure, etc

    • (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