dinner jacket

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Musician Alberto Semprini wearing a dinner jacket

Alternative forms[edit]


So called because it is worn by men to formal dinners.


dinner jacket (plural dinner jackets)

  1. (especially US) A jacket, often white, corresponding to a tuxedo jacket.
  2. (Britain) The formal suit, typically black, that includes this type of jacket.
    Synonyms: black tie, penguin suit
    Coordinate term: smoking jacket
    • 1932, Nevil Shute, chapter 2, in Lonely Road[2]:
      [They] sat in a pen in the corner, smoking cigarettes and reading magazines; four or five girls in black silk dresses and the same number of slight effeminate young men in dinner-jackets.
    • 1934 October, George Orwell [pseudonym; Eric Arthur Blair], “Chapter 17”, in Burmese Days, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, →OCLC:
      Mr Lackersteen was even wearing a dinner-jacket—white, because of the season—and was completely sober. The boiled shirt and piqué waistcoat seemed to hold him upright and stiffen his moral fibre like a breastplate.
    • 1971, E. M. Forster, chapter 37, in Maurice[3], Penguin, published 1972, page 162:
      It was a dinner-jacket evening—not tails, because they would only be three—and though he had respected such niceties for years he found them suddenly ridiculous.

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