What does the idiom "black tie" mean?

black tie is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression black tie is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "black tie"


The phrase “black tie” has two distinct uses. As an adjective, it is used to refer to formal social events, typically at evening time. It is often used to specify what kind of attire is expected of the attendees or guests. As an idiom, it means to dress up, typically wearing evening formal attire, or the highest level of formal attire.


The term “black tie” was first used in the late 19th century as an indicator of proper evening attire for men. By the mid-20th century, it had come to stand for the highest level of formal dress for evening events.


The term “black tie” is most commonly used when referring to formal events, such as a wedding or a gala. It is also used in literature to describe a situation that requires the best dress. It can also be used as an imperative verb, as in, “You must wear a black tie.”

Example Sentences

  • We are attending a black tie event tonight and need to be sure we are dressed appropriately.
  • The invitation specified that the event is black tie, so you'll need to wear a tuxedo.
  • John didn't realize that it was a black tie affair, so he showed up wearing jeans.

The meanings of the words in the "black tie" idiom

The universal role of idioms

"Kill two birds with one stone" is an English idiom that means to accomplish two things with a single action. In French, the similar idiom is "Faire d'une pierre deux coups," which translates to "To kill two birds with one stone." This idiom highlights the efficiency of completing two tasks with one action.


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