Definition of dress in English:

dress

verb

  • 1[no object] Put on one's clothes.

    ‘Graham showered and dressed quickly’
    ‘I'll go and get dressed’
    • ‘I'd better hurry up, have my shower and get dressed or I'll be late for lunch.’
    • ‘With lightning speed I jump out of the sleeping bag and get dressed as quickly as possible.’
    • ‘Jocelyn had just finished a rehearsal and was dressing to head home.’
    • ‘By then I am pretty much awake and feeling more friendly - so I take a shower and get dressed.’
    • ‘The woman claimed the defendant punched the man and dislocated his shoulder, so he could not get dressed very quickly.’
    • ‘I dress, come back downstairs, brush my teeth, brush my hair and put it in a ponytail.’
    • ‘You quickly get dressed and go downstairs, wondering what the contractor left behind or forgot to do that brought him back unannounced.’
    • ‘I blinked a few times before rising from the bed to get dressed and showered for school.’
    • ‘It was a warm afternoon in June and I was dressing for a party that evening.’
    • ‘Once they had left he dressed and returned to where he had left his car.’
    • ‘I had barely enough time to shower and get dressed before the Andrews came.’
    • ‘She showered quickly and then dressed into the same clothes once again, since they hadn't been dirtied since she put them on.’
    • ‘I get dressed quickly and sit on the small love seat in the living area.’
    • ‘I wrapped a towel around myself after my shower and left the bathroom to get dressed.’
    • ‘I didn't shower, or get dressed, or take care of myself for near on a week.’
    • ‘She continued talking as she dressed.’
    • ‘I went to the bathroom to shower, put on my makeup and get dressed.’
    • ‘He tossed out a velvet blue gown to her and told her to get dressed quickly and come back out.’
    • ‘Dad banged on the door and that was my signal to get out of the hot, steaming shower and get dressed.’
    • ‘Confused, she looked around, and found John dressing in the other side of the room.’
    put on clothes, don clothes, slip into clothes, clothe oneself, get dressed
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with adverbial]Wear clothes in a particular way or of a particular type.
      ‘she's nice-looking and dresses well’
      ‘he was dressed in jeans and a thick sweater’
      • ‘Both Nicky and Georgina were dressed casually, with Nicky wearing jeans and a baseball cap while Georgina wore jeans and a floral top.’
      • ‘On stage he would be dressed in evening wear, a bowler hat and a stainless steel waistcoat.’
      • ‘‘We have to do a do a couple of walks, one dressed in sports wear and one dressed in evening wear,’ he said.’
      • ‘Club officials will be giving patrons dressed in beach wear an entry form to complete which will be put into a barrel for the cash draw after the fourth race.’
      • ‘Although conservatively dressed, he wore a gold watch chain on his grey waistcoat and designer black leather shoes.’
      • ‘They do not wear uniforms but are dressed in black or civilian clothes, United States officials said.’
      • ‘It's a challenge on every level - so you begin dressing nicely, wearing some perfume, maybe even a sexy pair of heels.’
      • ‘They are all dressed similarly, most wearing the same blue jacket and hat as the man who has just spoken to me in English.’
      • ‘I noted some boys who looked quite plain, dressed in jeans and sports t-shirts.’
      • ‘She doesn't dress flamboyantly, instead wearing a black t-shirt and jeans.’
      • ‘He dresses in overalls and wears a tall straw hat.’
      • ‘Her attacker, who was dressed in black and wearing a balaclava, grabbed her from behind and held a knife to her throat, before escaping with her handbag.’
      • ‘Some were attired in figure-hugging minis, some were dressed in sparkling evening wear and a few in casuals.’
      • ‘The men were wearing balaclavas and dressed in black jackets with a gold band along the bottom like a uniform.’
      • ‘Instead of the white satin gown and lace veil Elizabeth had worn, Inger simply dressed in her Sunday best.’
      • ‘She wore black, and dressed in long skirts with shirt collars buttoned at the throat.’
      • ‘As I went into private practice, I made sure that my shoes always shone and dressed sharply, always wearing freshly laundered shirts to court.’
      • ‘She dresses normally, wearing dark jeans, and a pale pink tee shirt, but she doesn't have a trace of make up on her face.’
      • ‘Since we were partying on the Southside I dressed accordingly and wore black jeans and a black Sex Pistols tank top.’
      • ‘She dressed conservatively, wore little makeup and was unpretentious.’
    2. 1.2[with object]Put clothes on (someone)
      ‘they dressed her in a white hospital gown’
      • ‘He helped me to the bed and dressed me.’
      • ‘Mr Barry is able to wash, prepare limited snack meals and dress himself.’
      • ‘Your mother and I taught you the ways of the Indians and dressed you in Indian clothes.’
      • ‘But as for dressing them the same, Lana makes sure she keeps the twins' individuality.’
      • ‘She was still wrapped in the clothes Sebastain dressed her with.’
      • ‘Cathryn was not quite sure what to make of this for she could see no logical reason for dressing her in these clothes.’
      • ‘Back at the house, we were dressed in normal clothes once again.’
      • ‘He dresses her in frilly clothes and surrounds her with stuffed animals and dolls.’
      • ‘I have to question the clothes my parents dressed me in back then.’
      • ‘She joins Grace at the change table and watches as Grace finishes dressing the baby.’
      • ‘They had always spoiled me when I was younger, buying me things I didn't want or need, dressing me up in clothes I didn't like.’
      • ‘The urban propensity to dress babies with fancy clothes makes them more vulnerable to malaria.’
      • ‘Every morning Mama would dress him in nice clothes, comb his straight light brown hair, and make sure his face and hands were clean.’
      • ‘After all, it's no mean trick dressing a sleeping baby in a tiny clown outfit, complete with pointy hat!’
      • ‘The nurses had dressed their baby, wrapped him in a blanket and given them the opportunity to hold him.’
      • ‘How can anyone make a ‘big is beautiful’ movie and then dress the girl like she's been through a trash compacter to shave off a few inches?’
      • ‘He took him in, washed him, fed him, dressed him, and got him new identity papers.’
      • ‘The women begin their task, washing the body, dressing it in robes, and preparing it for the funeral ceremony to come.’
      • ‘I bathed them, dressed them, fed them, changed their bandages, lifted them out of wheelchairs and into beds.’
      • ‘She commented quite snarkily on how Mrs. Roberts dressed her children just too perfectly in their Sunday clothes to go to the White House.’
    3. 1.3Put on clothes appropriate for a formal occasion.
      ‘we dressed for dinner every night’
      • ‘And definitely dressed for the occasion were mother and daughter Pamela and Penelope Gahan.’
      • ‘The colourful event was redolent of Nashville with everyone dressed for the occasion in denims, cowboy hats and rhinestone ornamented boots.’
      • ‘They finish up with just barely enough time to get cleaned up again and dressed for dinner with Eric's parents.’
      • ‘Sian, in a long coat that swished theatrically behind her, had dressed for the occasion; so too the conscientious Kevin Amos in his DJ.’
      • ‘However he requires his retinue and guests always to dress formally for dinner.’
      • ‘To fly with the airlines meant one expected impeccable first-class service and one dressed for the occasion.’
      • ‘Carrying picnic baskets, and dressed for the occasion, the crowd was entertained by local musicians - part of a free concert laid on for the event.’
      • ‘On the ship he played bingo, went to the shows, dressed for dinner, and maintained his silent decorum.’
      • ‘All readers are invited, provided you dress for the occasion.’
      • ‘Feeling like a character in a Nancy Mitford novel, I dressed for dinner and met my husband in the bar.’
      • ‘The upmarket style bible put Camilla in its ‘showstoppers’ category of women who know how to dress for a big occasion.’
      • ‘Not for the first time, however, this reviewer turns up wrongly dressed for the occasion.’
      • ‘Wellington was dressing for dinner in Toulouse when he heard that Napoleon had abdicated.’
      • ‘In the hotel we dressed for dinner, though this was not our usual custom.’
      • ‘One of them accepts the wedding invitation but then doesn't bother to dress for the occasion.’
      • ‘Staff at the pub will be dressing for the occasion at the event to help encourage punters to join in.’
      • ‘The recent annual presentation night had a huge turn out of young people all dressed well for the occasion.’
      • ‘He dressed for the occasion, received higher class audiences, held forth on the merits and demerits of the film and was usually an expert on public taste.’
      • ‘Everyone seemed dressed for the occasion, adding to the modern art environment.’
      • ‘Gayle was getting dressed for dinner, when she heard Riann's voice.’
    4. 1.4[with object]Design or supply clothes for (a celebrity)
      ‘for over four decades he dressed the royal family’
      • ‘And not just the Los Angeles premiere, the Indian designer will also dress the actress for the screening of the film in London later this month.’
      • ‘Slimane has dressed a lot of rock stars and bands, including the Libertines.’
      • ‘He has dressed celebrities like Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Ashley Judd.’
      • ‘He dressed stars like Grace Kelly, Marilyn Monroe and Natalie Wood, as well as first lady Jacqueline Kennedy.’
      • ‘The now Duchess of Cornwall has had many outfits made by the label, Robinson Valentine in the past five years, so they are familiar with dressing Camilla.’
  • 2[with object] Decorate (something) in an artistic or attractive way.

    ‘she'd enjoyed dressing the tree when the children were little’
    • ‘Thereafter, Hopesay Parish Council has maintained the tree dressing custom, which is unique in Britain.’
    • ‘We've kept it simple, warm and welcoming, and have avoided the urge to dress it with rambling roses and ornament of any kind.’
    • ‘In summer you dine at beautifully dressed tables on a terrace overlooking the valley - the 18th-century estate is surrounded by olive groves.’
    • ‘If windows are behind a cooking surface, they should not be dressed with flammable window treatments.’
    • ‘The custom of dressing a black poplar known as the Arbor Tree with flags on flagpoles every 29 May is unique in Britain.’
    • ‘The friends hold their first tree dressing festival, with more than 150 children taking part.’
    • ‘To enhance the city centre atmosphere for the event, businesses are encouraged to keep the themes of the shows in mind when dressing their windows.’
    • ‘Take some of the pressure out of dressing your home for the holidays by decorating for the longer winter season rather than for just one specific occasion.’
    • ‘The competition has become a huge success and has encouraged shop owners to use their imagination in dressing their shop windows for Christmas.’
    • ‘During the 1800s, dressing the wells in the village was hugely popular.’
    • ‘A number of shops are dressing their windows with a nautical theme and some local pubs and restaurants are offering seaside specials.’
    • ‘Then we'll come home, drag the tree from its packaging, set it up and dress it, and Christmas will begin.’
    • ‘The wreck is dressed in beautiful soft corals of all colours.’
    • ‘It was about this time of year - everyone was preparing for the holidays, doing their Christmas shopping, dressing the tree and putting up decorations.’
    • ‘We scored snazzy socks, gloves, jewelry and barrettes at the dollar store to finish dressing our door doll.’
    • ‘Stones like emerald, ruby, blue, sapphire, jade, onex, aquamarine, malakite and peridot are used for dressing the pieces.’
    decorate, adorn, ornament, trim, deck, bedeck, embellish, beautify, prettify, array, festoon, garland, rig, drape
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1Decorate (a ship) with flags for a special occasion.
      • ‘Ships were dressed with flags and sailors climbed the rigging or stood on decks, caps in hand, to cheer the Queen.’
      • ‘Let us dress our ship as befits a brigand who shows her heels to the pursuers.’
  • 3[with object] Treat or prepare (something) in a certain way, in particular.

    1. 3.1Clean, treat, or apply a dressing to (a wound)
      ‘she washed the wound and dressed it with fresh bandages’
      • ‘She made her way to her room to clean and dress the wound.’
      • ‘I propped Gary up against the building and began to dress his wounds.’
      • ‘She learned to dress wounds and the proper techniques for transferring surgical patients.’
      • ‘Often, self-harm is hidden, with its victims becoming expert in dressing their own injuries.’
      • ‘Without words, she pulled out a bandage from one of his bags and began dressing the wound.’
      • ‘The nurse cleaned and dressed the arm, and then arranged again for surgery clinic follow-up.’
      • ‘The skin wound was dressed with gauze, and sterile plaster wool was applied.’
      • ‘After he was finished, the woman dressed his sore wounds with a cooling salve.’
      • ‘I went to my general practitioner and had the wound dressed by a nurse at the surgery.’
      • ‘Of course, his first instinct was to dress the wounds, to stop the bleeding.’
      • ‘There was a long pause while Adrian and Brad continued to clean and dress the wounds.’
      • ‘The incision then was dressed with self-adhesive wound approximating strips.’
      • ‘The wound is dressed with gauze, which is taped into place.’
      • ‘The plaintiff was taken to Humber Hospital where her leg was reduced, the wound dressed and a leg splint applied.’
      • ‘That is why more serious burns need to be dressed and kept clean to help prevent this whilst the skin heals.’
      • ‘After dressing my wound, the local pharmacist even gave me a lollipop.’
      • ‘Adam never saw the heartache his father endured as he cleaned and dressed his son's injuries.’
      • ‘Shannon was the one who dressed my wounds and dried my tears.’
    2. 3.2Clean and prepare (food, especially poultry or shellfish) for cooking or eating.
      ‘dressed crab’
      • ‘We chose to share a dressed crab with lemon dill mayonnaise.’
      • ‘Anyway I was dressing a salmon… which quite obviously I have overpoached.’
      • ‘Doug delivers freshly dressed chickens, eggs and a growing list of other farm-fresh products to 10 gourmet restaurants.’
      • ‘The acidity of the soursop varies: the pulp of some fruits can be eaten raw, while others have to be dressed with sugar to make them palatable.’
    3. 3.3Add a dressing to (a salad)
      ‘dress the salad with vinaigrette’
      • ‘A good accompaniment is a green salad dressed with olive oil and Dijon mustard.’
      • ‘More mature cheeses are firmer and can be crumbled over pasta or soup, or grilled and served on a salad dressed with walnut oil.’
      • ‘When I'm trying to be sensible I do a rocket leaf salad dressed with aged balsamic vinegar from Tesco's.’
      • ‘This vinaigrette is incredibly flexible - it can be used for dressing salads, glazing braised fish, or to marinate cooked potatoes.’
      • ‘There's also a tiny heart of cabbage, blanched and dressed with vinaigrette.’
      • ‘They both offer wonderfully subtle and sweet tastes, best brought out by a salad dressed with a sharp and tangy vinaigrette.’
      • ‘Mix equal parts low fat mayonnaise and yogurt and use to dress coleslaw or potato salad.’
      • ‘Salads are piquantly dressed, potatoes sautéed in duck fat are copiously served and the house wine, a young Cotes du Rhone, is more than adequate.’
      • ‘The duck leg was melt-in-the-mouth delicious, accompanied by fried potato slices and a delicate garden salad dressed as only a French chef can.’
      • ‘Serve immediately or at room temperature - it would be nicely complemented by a salad dressed with walnut oil.’
      • ‘The first comprised six flavoursome langoustines in a tempura batter as light as a prawn cracker, served on salad dressed with an interesting sweet basil oil.’
      • ‘Conversely potato salad should be dressed while hot, so that the cooling potatoes suck in the dressing.’
      • ‘Serve with an arugula salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette.’
      • ‘The classic accompaniment of tartines is a green salad, dressed with a vinaigrette that can even be in accordance to the theme.’
      • ‘With them came two mild, home-pickled onions, six cornichons and some fashionable salad leaves dressed only in olive oil, bizarrely, and not great oil at that.’
      • ‘Place a goat's cheese burger on top, then some relish, a few salad leaves dressed in vinaigrette, and top with the lid.’
      • ‘The salad should not be dressed in this way until the instant before it is wanted for table.’
      • ‘Cholestrol levels must be the last thing on the minds of most of the guests who seem to love salads that have been dressed in creamy mayonnaise sauce.’
      • ‘Serve polenta with cherry tomato halves lightly dressed with an herb vinaigrette.’
      • ‘For instance, serve veggie hot dogs with a leafy salad dressed with oil and vinegar rather than canned baked beans.’
    4. 3.4Apply a fertilizer to (an area of ground or a plant)
      ‘the field was dressed with unrotted farmyard manure’
      • ‘Feed your plants by side dressing with a vegetable fertilizer same as you would in the spring.’
      • ‘Grass staggers is brought about by a diet that is too high in protein, a condition found in rapidly growing pasture, especially on ground that has been heavily dressed with fertilizer.’
      • ‘At the correct times the ground about the trees was dressed with sea-sand manure.’
    5. 3.5Complete the preparation or manufacture of (leather or fabric) by treating its surface in some way.
      ‘leather that had been dressed with alum’
      • ‘Officers complained that it was extremely difficult to keep the full dress uniform presentable, since the lace dirtied the white cloth, and the brimstone used to dress the cloth damaged the lace.’
    6. 3.6Smooth the surface of (stone)
      ‘dressed Cotswold stone’
      • ‘The well-house is built of dressed stone with a squared-off doorway out of which flows a vigorous stream.’
      • ‘Some of the old colonial flavour remains in the charming dressed stone church of St John in the Wilderness.’
      • ‘On the exterior walls, 240 dressed and corner stones had to be redone and the top floor needed to be completely replaced.’
      • ‘Every stone has to be dressed, which means that for every week of building with stone, it takes two days to prepare the stone.’
      • ‘This crosses the valley on a solid structure, built of dressed stone facing a rubble core.’
      • ‘This is the first time that the use of dressed stone masonry is made, a major step in the evolution of building construction.’
      • ‘Now it resembled a low fortress wall with blocks of stone evenly cut and dressed, and white lines to guide devotees on moonless nights.’
      • ‘All new stone was found on the site, and was dressed and laid by local craftsmen.’
      • ‘The building is made of dressed stone and rendered walls, coloured rendered concrete walls and rammed earth walls.’
      • ‘Stone was dressed in different ways as time and technology advanced.’
    7. 3.7Arrange or style (hair)
      ‘Patrick dressed Michelle's hair in a sculptured, Japanese-type style’
      • ‘For these women it was customary to apply cosmetics and to dress their hair in the morning.’
      • ‘Helen stood behind Rena, dressing her hair in a plain but also extraordinary fashion.’
      • ‘Carved wooden Akan combs were used to both dress the hair and ornament it.’
      • ‘Her hair was styled and dressed and her make-up was carefully applied.’
  • 4Military
    [with object] Draw up (troops) in the proper alignment.

    • ‘There was no time to dress ranks properly, and unit organization went by the board as the troopers struggled to form front.’
    • ‘The halberds of infantry sergeants were carried as a symbol of their authority and used to dress the ranks.’
    • ‘The battalion dressed its ranks with precision.’
    line up, put in line, align, straighten, arrange, put into order, dispose, set out, get into columns, get into rows
    View synonyms
    1. 4.1[no object](of troops) come into proper alignment.
      • ‘Soldiers dress by one another in ranks, and the body collectively by some given object.’
  • 5(of a man) have the genitals habitually on one or the other side of the fork of the trousers.

    ‘do you dress to the left?’
    • ‘His periscope legs are wrapped in trousers sufficiently tight for any prospective tailors to note that he dresses to the left.’
    • ‘Unless this generation is particularly sensitive, it doesn't explain why in the sixties and seventies we all walked around in jeans so tight that questions about dressing to the right or left would have been unnecessary.’
  • 6[with object] Make (an artificial fly) for use in fishing.

    ‘a dressed wet fly’
    • ‘Necessities for stream angling encompass the occasional use of smaller 8ft to 10 ft rods, lighter DT floating lines, and lighter dressed flies.’
    • ‘More recently I used some big cane salmon fly rods to throw impressive fully dressed flies on the Tweed.’

noun

  • 1A one-piece garment for a woman or girl that covers the body and extends down over the legs.

    ‘a white cotton dress’
    [as modifier] ‘a dress designer’
    • ‘And Suzy has to wear a bridesmaid dress the like of which has not been seen since 1983.’
    • ‘The chief bridesmaid Sheryl Chiffin and bridesmaids Clare Scott and Amy Smith wore ballerina-length ivory silk dresses edged in plum pink.’
    • ‘The girls were all in simple woollen dresses and white linen smocks, their hair tied mostly in ponytails.’
    • ‘Women wear one-piece calico or cotton dresses, or loose blouses and skirts.’
    • ‘Casual wear, evening dresses, classical gowns and avant-garde bra-style tops are all denim.’
    • ‘The bridesmaids wore Hawaiian-print dresses, a fashion mode echoed in the groomsmen's shirts.’
    • ‘Her figure expressed itself entirely through her flashy, expensive dresses and garments.’
    • ‘This just shows white dresses don't have to be boring and can vary a lot.’
    • ‘All the dresses and garments were well made, but I just can't see the theme of this collection.’
    • ‘She wore a black sleeveless dress and a black hat.’
    • ‘Leoni wore a gold silk evening dress and silk top hat, while Deborah opted for a jacket, waistcoat, gold cravat and black trousers.’
    • ‘The one thing you know about every single female character in Weiner's books is what dress size she wears.’
    • ‘Others appeared to float in broad tutu dresses worn with matching gossamer-light chiffon veil coats.’
    • ‘She also hit the mark with her black silk flower print strapless dresses with their asymmetrical handkerchief hemlines.’
    • ‘I have a new spaghetti-strap dress I want to wear to our family Christmas party.’
    • ‘Chiffon was the fabric of the night: everything from asymmetrical tops to strapless panel dresses was made in chiffon.’
    • ‘Some designers showed fur as a trim - around the necklines or hemlines of dresses, or on the collars and cuffs of sweaters and jackets.’
    • ‘An abiding memory for me will be the girls in their colourful dresses sitting on the lawn as they wait to leave, laughing and singing.’
    • ‘I've seen guests wear black dresses at weddings and thought nothing of it.’
    • ‘She wore a long dark blue and light blue striped collared dress with short sleeves.’
    frock, gown, robe, shift
    View synonyms
  • 2[mass noun] Clothing of a specified kind for men or women.

    ‘traditional African dress’
    • ‘He used to appear before voters during electioneering in formal dress with a necktie, and he did on TV too.’
    • ‘All of the women wear traditional dress: long flowing skirts, heavily embroidered waistcoats and embroidered hats with a rosette on the right side.’
    • ‘Some offices are dressing up their ‘business casual’ policies and returning to traditional business dress.’
    • ‘Over 100 couples can be catered for at the event, many of whom will be coming along in full wedding regalia, although evening dress and ball gowns will be the choice of others.’
    • ‘Wooden shoes are an item of traditional dress among rural dwellers in the interior of the region.’
    • ‘He will be remembered for his elegance of dress (nothing but Savile Row would do).’
    • ‘Traditional male dress included loose trousers and shirt, with perhaps a robe over that, and a red-felt skullcap.’
    • ‘The costumes are bright and striking adaptations of traditional Japanese dress.’
    • ‘Casey felt better after a hot shower and a change of uniform, from the camouflage dress to working dress; grey shirt, same grey pants, no tie.’
    • ‘I could do nothing but smile at her manner of dress - outrageous as it was.’
    • ‘He was wearing a mottled camouflage combat jacket over traditional Arab dress.’
    • ‘The mourners came in traditional dress - frock coats, top hats and bowlers.’
    • ‘During Diwali, celebrants wear new clothing and colourful, traditional dress.’
    • ‘An array of items erases traditional distinctions between evening dress and daywear.’
    • ‘His favorite mode of dress is that of a pirate.’
    • ‘You can even see it in our manner of dress, boots and vests and hats and loaded weapons.’
    • ‘Each form of dress carries with it historical associations of domination, colonialism, oppression, resistance.’
    • ‘Male characters usually appear in period dress: big boots, swords, and ornate jackets.’
    • ‘However, it still requested smart dress, hats optional for women and jacket, collar and tie for men.’
    • ‘He was in a business suit instead of formal dress or traditional formal wear consisting of a crested kimono and pleated skirt.’
    clothes, clothing, garments, attire, costume, outfit, ensemble, garb, turnout
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1[as modifier]Denoting military uniform or other clothing used on formal or ceremonial occasions.
      ‘a dress suit’
      • ‘During this first decade, standard dress uniforms were created for the rodeo performances.’
      • ‘I had finished dressing in my black dress pants, and white low-cut blouse.’
      • ‘He wore a blue point collar dress shirt and black dress slacks.’
      • ‘I expected Devin to emerge in full Navy regalia, dress uniform and everything.’
      • ‘When we were all called together again for a meeting, I saw that both Decker and Dev were in ceremonial dress military uniforms.’
      • ‘I'm in dress shoes, collared shirt and a pin striped jacket, dressed up for me, though I rode over here on a bike.’
      • ‘His outfit consisted of a white cotton dress shirt with a black bow tie and matching shoes.’
      • ‘My brother - who was then and remains my hero - stood ramrod straight in his Marine Corps dress blues.’
      • ‘They didn't start wearing corporate suits but they proved they can dress in collared shirts and dress shoes.’
      • ‘The government men stepped off, in military dress uniforms, each with a large group of ribbons on the left chest over the olive drab fabric.’
      • ‘Cedric's dress shirt is untucked and his suit jacket hanging over one arm.’
      • ‘He came out dressed in a sort of military dress uniform, complete with tight shiny pants and a cap decorated with the iron cross.’
      • ‘She was starting to feel out of place in her dress slacks and matching jacket.’
      • ‘Adorned in pristine Air Force dress uniforms and spit-shined shoes, they are the epitome of professionalism.’
      • ‘She let her mind wander to what Adam would look like dressed up in a nice dress shirt and tight black dress slacks.’
      • ‘On certain uniforms, such as the Army mess dress uniform, miniature medals are actually worn.’
      • ‘He looked so good in that dark blue dress shirt and black dress pants of his.’
      • ‘Tearful colleagues in dress uniform formed a guard of honour for the funeral at the church in Todmorden Road yesterday.’
      • ‘He looked stunning in his shirt of royal blue and black dress slacks.’
      • ‘Everyone around him wore black suits and red ties, with shiny dress shoes.’

Phrases

  • dressed overall

    • (of a ship) decorated with a continuous line of flags from bow to stern.

      ‘the marina was crammed full of yachts dressed overall’
      • ‘While in port the ship was dressed overall, along with other vessels, to mark the national celebrations and to meet up again with colleagues from the Royal Canadian Navy.’
      • ‘A number of boats were dressed overall for the regatta or were flying their battle flags.’
      • ‘The Union Castle Line's flagship, the Windsor Castle, was dressed overall to mark her 100th voyage between Southampton and South Africa when she docked in Durban.’
      • ‘The most eye-catching exhibit - apart from Northumberland, dressed overall - was the amphibious car, a £150,000 vehicle which regularly hurtled past the frigate's berth.’
      • ‘Beyond hosting various media events while in Southampton, the ship will be open to visitors throughout the boat show and be dressed overall for the duration.’
  • dressed to kill

    • Wearing glamorous clothes intended to create a striking impression.

      • ‘They have three things in common: they have been friends for years, they are all single, and they are dressed to kill.’
      • ‘Along comes this beautiful, educated, overbearingly skinny girl, dressed to kill in cotton candy pink, with teeth whiter than snow, a brand new Audi and daddy's money in her pocket.’
      • ‘Hopefully all the fashionable people from the Sheffield scene will be there and be dressed to kill.’
      • ‘The skinny adolescent is dressed to kill in a black sheath dress, gloves and a straw pillbox hat with a veil.’
      • ‘As curious shoppers clamoured to get in, a bikinied bunny babe, dressed to kill, but not against the chill, posed obligingly for photographers.’
      • ‘Then Sally emerged, dressed to kill - in skin tight black leggings, black thigh length PVC stiletto boots, and an outrageous Puffa jacket.’
      • ‘All the proud fathers were dressed to kill in their three-piece serge suits and trilby felt hats perched to one side.’
      • ‘But Louise, from St Helens, fears for the future of younger, naïve girls who go out dressed to kill with the intention of attracting the maximum attention.’
      • ‘A fanatical Manchester United supporter, Brian said: ‘I usually just wear jeans and a t-shirt but today I'm dressed to kill.’’
      • ‘Yet made up and dressed to kill, some of them could have passed for 28.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • dress down

    • Dress informally.

      ‘Sue dressed down in old jeans and a white blouse’
      • ‘Charcoal, black - even neon green, these jackets are perfect for dressing up or dressing down.’
      • ‘While dressing down is all good and fun, award shows are about the red carpet.’
      • ‘More than 200 of our schools took part in a Manchester Evening News / UNICEF appeal which saw youngsters dressing down to raise money.’
      • ‘The same juvenile impulse that once inspired liberals to dress down as slobs now inspires them to assume the role of high school snobs.’
      • ‘The survey also identified a trend now towards ‘casual dressing’, with more men dressing down in the workplace these days as opposed to wearing suits.’
      • ‘Shooting one scene involved Terri - a girl whose idea of dressing down is four-inch heels and a plunging neckline - taking a tottering walk down the street.’
      • ‘Even if more companies are dressing down, I prefer to savour some things for my days off.’
      • ‘But the star, more often seen dressing down in baggy, grunge-style gear, already appears to have undergone something of an image change.’
      • ‘So you can offset all those gains by simply dressing down on Fridays.’
      • ‘The annual Halloween Fancy Dress Night is a fundraiser for the Hospice, so guests should use their imaginations while dressing up or dressing down as the case may be.’
      dress informally, dress casually, be untidy
      slob around
      View synonyms
  • dress someone down

    • Reprimand someone.

      ‘the president dressed down the media at the news conference’
      • ‘Or the teacher who accosted his student backstage after her full recital, dressing her down in front of her peers for all her musical failures.’
      • ‘She dressed me down and I got an especially mean writing exercise.’
      • ‘My son-in-law completely dressed me down, said I must apologise and threw a glass of water in my face.’
      • ‘Phillip is dressed down by his mother for thinking being smart is the same thing as being wise.’
      • ‘He sounded like the school headmaster quietly but firmly dressing down a truant pupil.’
      • ‘Where is the statement dressing her down, or better still sacking her?’
      • ‘While the premier was dressing down his rebellious MPs, the former Prime Minister urged us not to put all our eggs in the same basket.’
      • ‘His behaviour is said to have included regularly dressing down officers in front of other staff and ordering them to do menial tasks when they were tired.’
      • ‘The head cop dressed me down like a drill sergeant.’
      • ‘He played head games with Cujo, pulling him out of games, dressing him down in front of teammates.’
  • dress up

    • 1Dress in smart or formal clothes.

      • ‘Indian women seem to have it easy when it comes to dressing up for formal functions and special occasions.’
      • ‘I'm going at 2.30, which gives me much time to kill, and me all dressed up in smart clothes too.’
      • ‘However, they are very formal when they dress up for church services and important ceremonies.’
      • ‘When it came to the day we all got dressed up smart in our full uniform and just as it was time to leave our line manager pulled those of us attending aside.’
      • ‘She read about fancy balls where people dress up in their nicest clothes and dance.’
      • ‘People can take a picnic and either dress up and make it a smart occasion or come in jeans and a T-shirt.’
      • ‘They are essential for work or interviews when you need to dress up and look formal and professional.’
      • ‘We've gotten dressed up in itchy church clothes so we can be told to hate someone?’
      • ‘Young lads of about 15 or so, dressed up in their posiest clothes, and ultimately doing nothing.’
      • ‘Groups of girls dressed up in their best clothes and jewellery looked on approvingly at these displays of horsemanship.’
      dress smartly, dress formally, wear evening dress
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      1. 1.1Dress in a special costume for fun or as part of an entertainment.
        ‘he dressed up as a gorilla’
        • ‘At Halloween, the other kids would dress up in superhero costumes to go trick or treating.’
        • ‘It will see the visiting children dressed up in 1940s style clothes carrying gas mask boxes.’
        • ‘Why not also dress up in forties clothes to really get into the spirit.’
        • ‘This was the only blip in the whole day which had seen many locals dressing up in period costume, strolling around in the Summer heat.’
        • ‘Market traders and shop assistants add to the atmosphere by dressing up in period costumes.’
        • ‘The event attracted hundreds of men and women who enjoyed dressing up in costumes from the war.’
        • ‘She said his loft was packed with toys and with clothes for the girls to dress up in.’
        • ‘Her coat was too big, so it made her seem like a little girl dressing up in her mother's clothes.’
        • ‘Staff at ASDA in Trowbridge will be dressing up in funky 70s clothing and holding a raffle of cuddly toys to help the cause.’
        • ‘Other ideas could see shopkeepers dress up in Victorian clothes for the day, on a similar style to Pickwick Night.’
        disguise oneself, dress
        View synonyms
  • dress something up

    • Present something in such a way that it appears better than it really is.

      ‘the company dressed up the figures a little’
      • ‘You had a similar phenomenon in the financial markets, where you had a boom, where it wasn't a matter of what the earnings were, but how they could be dressed up.’
      • ‘It's made up of all sorts of bits and pieces that no one would otherwise touch, but he's packaged it well and dressed it up with his trademark buffoonery.’
      • ‘As regards the general issue of vigilantism, the Government's position is simple: there is no place in our society for vigilantism no matter how it is dressed up.’
      • ‘Although most get-rich-quick schemes are as old as the hills they are dressed up with snazzy new titles that promise instant wealth.’
      • ‘But with her I knew I was getting to hear a ‘truer’ version whilst his version was dressed up with rather more male posturing.’
      • ‘However they choose to dress it up and whatever sort of compromise they want to present it as, the president's goal is still phase-out.’
      • ‘Dear reader, I ask you: does pulling out these facts and figures and dressing them up with rhetoric consciously influence your vote in the slightest?’
      • ‘That is why he sometimes gets dismayed when the privilege is abused and lies or half-truths are dressed up as news in certain elements of the media.’
      • ‘But you can't sell a system of bureaucratic control in this country by calling it what it is; you have to dress it up in the rhetoric of representative government.’
      • ‘They'll dress it up nice and present it again, and everyone will carp and complain for the next four months.’
      present, represent, portray, depict, characterize
      embellish, enhance, touch up, embroider, gloss, adorn
      ginger up
      jazz up
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘put straight’): from Old French dresser arrange, prepare, based on Latin directus direct, straight.

Pronunciation:

dress

/drɛs/