Definition of dress in English:



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

    ‘Graham showered and dressed quickly’
    ‘I'll go and get dressed’
    • ‘I had barely enough time to shower and get dressed before the Andrews came.’
    • ‘I wrapped a towel around myself after my shower and left the bathroom to get dressed.’
    • ‘You quickly get dressed and go downstairs, wondering what the contractor left behind or forgot to do that brought him back unannounced.’
    • ‘Dad banged on the door and that was my signal to get out of the hot, steaming shower and get dressed.’
    • ‘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 get dressed quickly and sit on the small love seat in the living area.’
    • ‘By then I am pretty much awake and feeling more friendly - so I take a shower and get dressed.’
    • ‘I didn't shower, or get dressed, or take care of myself for near on a week.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jocelyn had just finished a rehearsal and was dressing to head home.’
    • ‘She showered quickly and then dressed into the same clothes once again, since they hadn't been dirtied since she put them on.’
    • ‘Confused, she looked around, and found John dressing in the other side of the room.’
    • ‘I blinked a few times before rising from the bed to get dressed and showered for school.’
    • ‘He tossed out a velvet blue gown to her and told her to get dressed quickly and come back out.’
    • ‘She continued talking as she dressed.’
    • ‘With lightning speed I jump out of the sleeping bag and get dressed as quickly as possible.’
    • ‘I'd better hurry up, have my shower and get dressed or I'll be late for lunch.’
    • ‘I went to the bathroom to shower, put on my makeup and get dressed.’
    put on clothes, don clothes, slip into clothes, clothe oneself, get dressed
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    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’
      • ‘They do not wear uniforms but are dressed in black or civilian clothes, United States officials said.’
      • ‘Some were attired in figure-hugging minis, some were dressed in sparkling evening wear and a few in casuals.’
      • ‘I noted some boys who looked quite plain, dressed in jeans and sports t-shirts.’
      • ‘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 dressed conservatively, wore little makeup and was unpretentious.’
      • ‘It's a challenge on every level - so you begin dressing nicely, wearing some perfume, maybe even a sexy pair of heels.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Instead of the white satin gown and lace veil Elizabeth had worn, Inger simply dressed in her Sunday best.’
      • ‘On stage he would be dressed in evening wear, a bowler hat and a stainless steel waistcoat.’
      • ‘Both Nicky and Georgina were dressed casually, with Nicky wearing jeans and a baseball cap while Georgina wore jeans and a floral top.’
      • ‘The men were wearing balaclavas and dressed in black jackets with a gold band along the bottom like a uniform.’
      • ‘She wore black, and dressed in long skirts with shirt collars buttoned at the throat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She doesn't dress flamboyantly, instead wearing a black t-shirt and jeans.’
      • ‘He dresses in overalls and wears a tall straw hat.’
      • ‘They are all dressed similarly, most wearing the same blue jacket and hat as the man who has just spoken to me in English.’
      • ‘Since we were partying on the Southside I dressed accordingly and wore black jeans and a black Sex Pistols tank top.’
      • ‘Although conservatively dressed, he wore a gold watch chain on his grey waistcoat and designer black leather shoes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘We have to do a do a couple of walks, one dressed in sports wear and one dressed in evening wear,’ he said.’
      clothe, attire, garb, fit out, turn out, deck, deck out, trick out, trick up, costume, array, robe, accoutre
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    2. 1.2[with object]Put clothes on (someone)
      ‘they dressed her in a white hospital gown’
      • ‘Mr Barry is able to wash, prepare limited snack meals and dress himself.’
      • ‘Back at the house, we were dressed in normal clothes once again.’
      • ‘He helped me to the bed and dressed me.’
      • ‘The women begin their task, washing the body, dressing it in robes, and preparing it for the funeral ceremony to come.’
      • ‘He dresses her in frilly clothes and surrounds her with stuffed animals and dolls.’
      • ‘I bathed them, dressed them, fed them, changed their bandages, lifted them out of wheelchairs and into beds.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘The urban propensity to dress babies with fancy clothes makes them more vulnerable to malaria.’
      • ‘After all, it's no mean trick dressing a sleeping baby in a tiny clown outfit, complete with pointy hat!’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She commented quite snarkily on how Mrs. Roberts dressed her children just too perfectly in their Sunday clothes to go to the White House.’
      • ‘She was still wrapped in the clothes Sebastain dressed her with.’
      • ‘He took him in, washed him, fed him, dressed him, and got him new identity papers.’
      • ‘Your mother and I taught you the ways of the Indians and dressed you in Indian clothes.’
      • ‘The nurses had dressed their baby, wrapped him in a blanket and given them the opportunity to hold him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Every morning Mama would dress him in nice clothes, comb his straight light brown hair, and make sure his face and hands were clean.’
      • ‘But as for dressing them the same, Lana makes sure she keeps the twins' individuality.’
      • ‘Cathryn was not quite sure what to make of this for she could see no logical reason for dressing her in these clothes.’
    3. 1.3Put on clothes appropriate for a formal occasion.
      ‘we dressed for dinner every night’
      • ‘Staff at the pub will be dressing for the occasion at the event to help encourage punters to join in.’
      • ‘Gayle was getting dressed for dinner, when she heard Riann's voice.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The upmarket style bible put Camilla in its ‘showstoppers’ category of women who know how to dress for a big occasion.’
      • ‘To fly with the airlines meant one expected impeccable first-class service and one dressed for the occasion.’
      • ‘Wellington was dressing for dinner in Toulouse when he heard that Napoleon had abdicated.’
      • ‘And definitely dressed for the occasion were mother and daughter Pamela and Penelope Gahan.’
      • ‘They finish up with just barely enough time to get cleaned up again and dressed for dinner with Eric's parents.’
      • ‘On the ship he played bingo, went to the shows, dressed for dinner, and maintained his silent decorum.’
      • ‘Everyone seemed dressed for the occasion, adding to the modern art environment.’
      • ‘One of them accepts the wedding invitation but then doesn't bother to dress for the occasion.’
      • ‘Not for the first time, however, this reviewer turns up wrongly dressed for the occasion.’
      • ‘The colourful event was redolent of Nashville with everyone dressed for the occasion in denims, cowboy hats and rhinestone ornamented boots.’
      • ‘However he requires his retinue and guests always to dress formally for dinner.’
      • ‘Sian, in a long coat that swished theatrically behind her, had dressed for the occasion; so too the conscientious Kevin Amos in his DJ.’
      • ‘Feeling like a character in a Nancy Mitford novel, I dressed for dinner and met my husband in the bar.’
      • ‘In the hotel we dressed for dinner, though this was not our usual custom.’
      • ‘All readers are invited, provided you dress for the occasion.’
      wear formal clothes, put on evening dress, dress up
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    4. 1.4[with object]Design or supply clothes for (a celebrity)
      ‘for over four decades he dressed the royal family’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He has dressed celebrities like Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Ashley Judd.’
      • ‘Slimane has dressed a lot of rock stars and bands, including the Libertines.’
      • ‘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.’
    5. 1.5[with object]Decorate (something) in an artistic or attractive way.
      ‘they had dressed the doorframes with sprays of bittersweet’
      • ‘The friends hold their first tree dressing festival, with more than 150 children taking part.’
      • ‘We scored snazzy socks, gloves, jewelry and barrettes at the dollar store to finish dressing our door doll.’
      • ‘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 custom of dressing a black poplar known as the Arbor Tree with flags on flagpoles every 29 May 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.’
      • ‘It was about this time of year - everyone was preparing for the holidays, doing their Christmas shopping, dressing the tree and putting up decorations.’
      • ‘Stones like emerald, ruby, blue, sapphire, jade, onex, aquamarine, malakite and peridot are used for dressing the pieces.’
      • ‘A number of shops are dressing their windows with a nautical theme and some local pubs and restaurants are offering seaside specials.’
      • ‘The competition has become a huge success and has encouraged shop owners to use their imagination in dressing their shop windows for Christmas.’
      • ‘If windows are behind a cooking surface, they should not be dressed with flammable window treatments.’
      • ‘Thereafter, Hopesay Parish Council has maintained the tree dressing custom, which is unique in Britain.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Then we'll come home, drag the tree from its packaging, set it up and dress it, and Christmas will begin.’
      • ‘In summer you dine at beautifully dressed tables on a terrace overlooking the valley - the 18th-century estate is surrounded by olive groves.’
      • ‘The wreck is dressed in beautiful soft corals of all colours.’
      • ‘During the 1800s, dressing the wells in the village was hugely popular.’
      decorate, adorn, ornament, trim, deck, bedeck, embellish, beautify, prettify, array, festoon, garland, rig, drape
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  • 2[with object] Treat or prepare (something) in a certain way, in particular.

    1. 2.1Clean, treat, or apply a dressing to (a wound)
      • ‘I went to my general practitioner and had the wound dressed by a nurse at the surgery.’
      • ‘The incision then was dressed with self-adhesive wound approximating strips.’
      • ‘Of course, his first instinct was to dress the wounds, to stop the bleeding.’
      • ‘I propped Gary up against the building and began to dress his wounds.’
      • ‘The wound is dressed with gauze, which is taped into place.’
      • ‘Adam never saw the heartache his father endured as he cleaned and dressed his son's injuries.’
      • ‘She made her way to her room to clean and dress the wound.’
      • ‘The skin wound was dressed with gauze, and sterile plaster wool was applied.’
      • ‘Without words, she pulled out a bandage from one of his bags and began dressing the wound.’
      • ‘There was a long pause while Adrian and Brad continued to clean and dress the wounds.’
      • ‘Shannon was the one who dressed my wounds and dried my tears.’
      • ‘After dressing my wound, the local pharmacist even gave me a lollipop.’
      • ‘After he was finished, the woman dressed his sore wounds with a cooling salve.’
      • ‘She learned to dress wounds and the proper techniques for transferring surgical patients.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Often, self-harm is hidden, with its victims becoming expert in dressing their own injuries.’
      • ‘The nurse cleaned and dressed the arm, and then arranged again for surgery clinic follow-up.’
      bandage, cover, wrap, swaddle, swathe, plaster, put a plaster on
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    2. 2.2Clean and prepare (food, especially poultry or shellfish) for cooking or eating.
      ‘dressed crab’
      • ‘We chose to share a dressed crab with lemon dill mayonnaise.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Doug delivers freshly dressed chickens, eggs and a growing list of other farm-fresh products to 10 gourmet restaurants.’
      • ‘Anyway I was dressing a salmon… which quite obviously I have overpoached.’
      prepare, get ready, make ready
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    3. 2.3Add a dressing to (a salad)
      • ‘A good accompaniment is a green salad dressed with olive oil and Dijon mustard.’
      • ‘Mix equal parts low fat mayonnaise and yogurt and use to dress coleslaw or potato salad.’
      • ‘For instance, serve veggie hot dogs with a leafy salad dressed with oil and vinegar rather than canned baked beans.’
      • ‘Place a goat's cheese burger on top, then some relish, a few salad leaves dressed in vinaigrette, and top with the lid.’
      • ‘Serve polenta with cherry tomato halves lightly dressed with an herb vinaigrette.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The salad should not be dressed in this way until the instant before it is wanted for table.’
      • ‘Conversely potato salad should be dressed while hot, so that the cooling potatoes suck in the dressing.’
      • ‘The classic accompaniment of tartines is a green salad, dressed with a vinaigrette that can even be in accordance to the theme.’
      • ‘More mature cheeses are firmer and can be crumbled over pasta or soup, or grilled and served on a salad dressed with walnut oil.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When I'm trying to be sensible I do a rocket leaf salad dressed with aged balsamic vinegar from Tesco's.’
      • ‘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 with an arugula salad dressed with a tangy vinaigrette.’
      • ‘They both offer wonderfully subtle and sweet tastes, best brought out by a salad dressed with a sharp and tangy vinaigrette.’
      • ‘There's also a tiny heart of cabbage, blanched and dressed with vinaigrette.’
      • ‘Serve immediately or at room temperature - it would be nicely complemented by a salad dressed with walnut oil.’
      • ‘This vinaigrette is incredibly flexible - it can be used for dressing salads, glazing braised fish, or to marinate cooked potatoes.’
      • ‘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.’
    4. 2.4Apply a fertilizing substance to (a field, garden, or plant)
      • ‘Feed your plants by side dressing with a vegetable fertilizer same as you would in the spring.’
      • ‘At the correct times the ground about the trees was dressed with sea-sand manure.’
      • ‘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.’
      fertilize, add fertilizer to, feed, enrich, manure, mulch, compost, top-dress
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    5. 2.5Complete the preparation or manufacture of (leather or fabric) by treating its surface in some way.
      • ‘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. 2.6Smooth the surface of (stone)
      ‘a tower built of dressed stone’
      • ‘Now it resembled a low fortress wall with blocks of stone evenly cut and dressed, and white lines to guide devotees on moonless nights.’
      • ‘On the exterior walls, 240 dressed and corner stones had to be redone and the top floor needed to be completely replaced.’
      • ‘The building is made of dressed stone and rendered walls, coloured rendered concrete walls and rammed earth walls.’
      • ‘All new stone was found on the site, and was dressed and laid by local craftsmen.’
      • ‘This is the first time that the use of dressed stone masonry is made, a major step in the evolution of building construction.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Stone was dressed in different ways as time and technology advanced.’
      • ‘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.’
      smooth, polish, gloss, level, face
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    7. 2.7Arrange or style (one's own or someone else's hair), especially in an elaborate way.
      • ‘Helen stood behind Rena, dressing her hair in a plain but also extraordinary fashion.’
      • ‘For these women it was customary to apply cosmetics and to dress their hair in the morning.’
      • ‘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.’
      style, groom, arrange, comb, brush, do, put in order, straighten, adjust, preen, primp
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  • 3Military
    [with object] Draw up (troops) in the proper alignment.

    • ‘The battalion dressed its ranks with precision.’
    • ‘The halberds of infantry sergeants were carried as a symbol of their authority and used to dress the ranks.’
    • ‘There was no time to dress ranks properly, and unit organization went by the board as the troopers struggled to form front.’
    line up, put in line, align, straighten, arrange, put into order, dispose, set out, get into columns, get into rows
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    1. 3.1[no object](of troops) come into proper alignment.
      • ‘Soldiers dress by one another in ranks, and the body collectively by some given object.’
      collapse, cave in, come down about one's ears, crash in, fall down
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  • 4[with object] Prepare (an artificial fly) for use in fishing.

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


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

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

    ‘traditional African dress’
    figurative ‘the underlying theme is recognizable even when it appears in feminist dress’
    • ‘He was wearing a mottled camouflage combat jacket over traditional Arab dress.’
    • ‘Each form of dress carries with it historical associations of domination, colonialism, oppression, resistance.’
    • ‘The costumes are bright and striking adaptations of traditional Japanese dress.’
    • ‘You can even see it in our manner of dress, boots and vests and hats and loaded weapons.’
    • ‘Traditional male dress included loose trousers and shirt, with perhaps a robe over that, and a red-felt skullcap.’
    • ‘Wooden shoes are an item of traditional dress among rural dwellers in the interior of the region.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He used to appear before voters during electioneering in formal dress with a necktie, and he did on TV too.’
    • ‘His favorite mode of dress is that of a pirate.’
    • ‘All of the women wear traditional dress: long flowing skirts, heavily embroidered waistcoats and embroidered hats with a rosette on the right side.’
    • ‘An array of items erases traditional distinctions between evening dress and daywear.’
    • ‘He will be remembered for his elegance of dress (nothing but Savile Row would do).’
    • ‘I could do nothing but smile at her manner of dress - outrageous as it was.’
    • ‘Some offices are dressing up their ‘business casual’ policies and returning to traditional business dress.’
    • ‘During Diwali, celebrants wear new clothing and colourful, traditional 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.’
    • ‘He was in a business suit instead of formal dress or traditional formal wear consisting of a crested kimono and pleated skirt.’
    • ‘The mourners came in traditional dress - frock coats, top hats and bowlers.’
    • ‘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.’
    clothes, clothing, garments, attire, costume, outfit, ensemble, garb, turnout
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    1. 2.1[as modifier]Denoting military uniform or other clothing used on formal or ceremonial occasions.
      ‘a dress suit’
      • ‘She was starting to feel out of place in her dress slacks and matching jacket.’
      • ‘I had finished dressing in my black dress pants, and white low-cut blouse.’
      • ‘On certain uniforms, such as the Army mess dress uniform, miniature medals are actually worn.’
      • ‘He wore a blue point collar dress shirt and black dress slacks.’
      • ‘Adorned in pristine Air Force dress uniforms and spit-shined shoes, they are the epitome of professionalism.’
      • ‘They didn't start wearing corporate suits but they proved they can dress in collared shirts and dress shoes.’
      • ‘She let her mind wander to what Adam would look like dressed up in a nice dress shirt and tight black dress slacks.’
      • ‘He came out dressed in a sort of military dress uniform, complete with tight shiny pants and a cap decorated with the iron cross.’
      • ‘During this first decade, standard dress uniforms were created for the rodeo performances.’
      • ‘Everyone around him wore black suits and red ties, with shiny dress shoes.’
      • ‘I'm in dress shoes, collared shirt and a pin striped jacket, dressed up for me, though I rode over here on a bike.’
      • ‘Cedric's dress shirt is untucked and his suit jacket hanging over one arm.’
      • ‘His outfit consisted of a white cotton dress shirt with a black bow tie and matching shoes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My brother - who was then and remains my hero - stood ramrod straight in his Marine Corps dress blues.’
      • ‘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.’


  • dressed to kill

    • Wearing glamorous clothes intended to create a striking impression.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All the proud fathers were dressed to kill in their three-piece serge suits and trilby felt hats perched to one side.’
      • ‘Then Sally emerged, dressed to kill - in skin tight black leggings, black thigh length PVC stiletto boots, and an outrageous Puffa jacket.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They have three things in common: they have been friends for years, they are all single, and they are dressed to kill.’
      • ‘Yet made up and dressed to kill, some of them could have passed for 28.’
      • ‘A fanatical Manchester United supporter, Brian said: ‘I usually just wear jeans and a t-shirt but today I'm 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.’
  • dressed to the nines

    • Dressed very elaborately.

      • ‘Indeed, she is ready, and she looks like a cross between a fitness trainer and a model for Vicky Sue, except that she is dressed to the nines.’
      • ‘But they are really great for those weekend nights when you're dressed to the nines and want to wear a pair or winter-ready boots, without compromising style.’
      • ‘But when we see him dressed to the nines, we hardly notice his deficiencies.’
      • ‘What's the point of an Oscar ceremony if Gwyneth Paltrow isn't dressed to the nines?’
      • ‘An older city crowd, dressed to the nines, watch video projections of fashion shows on a back wall and there's not enough room to swing the proverbial feline.’
      • ‘Alex's parents came down a short while later, both dressed to the nines.’
      • ‘Each of the five films on view featured a European screen star of a certain age, dressed to the nines and emoting dramatically, usually in an absurdly sumptuous apartment.’
      • ‘Some of Wendy's friends had dressed to the nines, but Teresa had everyone topped with the hot little midriff-baring number she'd chosen.’
      • ‘And on the third night, I was, you know, dressed to the nines, having dinner at a great restaurant in New York.’
      • ‘Hollywood's biggest stars were dressed to the nines for the annual Costume Institute Gala at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art on Monday night.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • dress down

    • Dress informally.

      ‘Sue dressed down in old jeans and a white blouse’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The same juvenile impulse that once inspired liberals to dress down as slobs now inspires them to assume the role of high school snobs.’
      • ‘While dressing down is all good and fun, award shows are about the red carpet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even if more companies are dressing down, I prefer to savour some things for my days off.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘More than 200 of our schools took part in a Manchester Evening News / UNICEF appeal which saw youngsters dressing down to raise money.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Charcoal, black - even neon green, these jackets are perfect for dressing up or dressing down.’
      dress informally, dress casually, be untidy
      slob around
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  • dress someone down

    • Reprimand someone.

      • ‘He played head games with Cujo, pulling him out of games, dressing him down in front of teammates.’
      • ‘Phillip is dressed down by his mother for thinking being smart is the same thing as being wise.’
      • ‘My son-in-law completely dressed me down, said I must apologise and threw a glass of water in my face.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She dressed me down and I got an especially mean writing exercise.’
      • ‘Where is the statement dressing her down, or better still sacking her?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He sounded like the school headmaster quietly but firmly dressing down a truant pupil.’
      • ‘The head cop dressed me down like a drill sergeant.’
      • ‘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.’
  • dress ship

    • Decorate 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.’
  • dress up

    • 1Dress in smart or formal clothes.

      • ‘We've gotten dressed up in itchy church clothes so we can be told to hate someone?’
      • ‘She read about fancy balls where people dress up in their nicest clothes and dance.’
      • ‘They are essential for work or interviews when you need to dress up and look formal and professional.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Young lads of about 15 or so, dressed up in their posiest clothes, and ultimately doing nothing.’
      • ‘However, they are very formal when they dress up for church services and important ceremonies.’
      • ‘Groups of girls dressed up in their best clothes and jewellery looked on approvingly at these displays of horsemanship.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘People can take a picnic and either dress up and make it a smart occasion or come in jeans and a T-shirt.’
      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’
        • ‘It will see the visiting children dressed up in 1940s style clothes carrying gas mask boxes.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Her coat was too big, so it made her seem like a little girl dressing up in her mother's clothes.’
        • ‘At Halloween, the other kids would dress up in superhero costumes to go trick or treating.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Why not also dress up in forties clothes to really get into the spirit.’
        • ‘She said his loft was packed with toys and with clothes for the girls to dress up in.’
        disguise oneself, dress
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  • 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’
      • ‘But with her I knew I was getting to hear a ‘truer’ version whilst his version was dressed up with rather more male posturing.’
      • ‘Although most get-rich-quick schemes are as old as the hills they are dressed up with snazzy new titles that promise instant wealth.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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
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Middle English (in the sense put straight): from Old French dresser arrange, prepare based on Latin directus direct, straight.