Definition of dress someone down in US English:

dress someone down

phrasal verb

  • Reprimand someone.

    • ‘He sounded like the school headmaster quietly but firmly dressing down a truant pupil.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He played head games with Cujo, pulling him out of games, dressing him down in front of teammates.’
    • ‘The head cop dressed me down like a drill sergeant.’
    • ‘She dressed me down and I got an especially mean writing exercise.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    reprimand, rebuke, admonish, chastise, chide, upbraid, reprove, reproach, scold, remonstrate with, berate, take to task, pull up, castigate, lambaste, read someone the riot act, give someone a piece of one's mind, lecture, criticize, censure
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