In the United States prom (short for promenade) is a formal (black tie) dance or gathering of high school students. It is typically held near the end of the senior year (i.e., the last year of high school). It figures greatly in popular culture and is a major event among high school students. High school juniors attending the prom may call it "junior prom" while high school seniors may call it "senior prom". In practice this may be a combined junior/senior dance. At prom, a Prom Queen and Prom King may be revealed. These are honorary titles awarded to students chosen in a school-wide vote prior to the prom, and are usually given to seniors. Juniors may also be honored, but would be called "Prom Prince" or "Prom Princess". Other students may be honored with inclusion in a "Prom Court". The selection method for Prom Court is similar to that of Homecoming Queen, King, and Court. Inclusion in a Prom Court may be a reflection of popularity of those chosen and their level of participation in school activities, such as clubs or sports.
In Britain, Canada and Australia the terms formal and grad are most commonly used for occasions equivalent to the American "prom", and the event is usually held for those graduating high, secondary or middle school. However the term "prom" is becoming more common in the UK and Canada due to the influence of US TV shows and movies. In Ireland, the event is known as a debs (originally an abbreviation of debutante ball).
Read more about Prom: 'Prom' Usage, Prom Attire, Prom Logistics and Traditions, Homeschool Proms, Adult Proms, Other Prom-themed Events, Anti-proms and Alternative Proms, Alternative Prom Dates, Controversies, History