Definition of window dressing in US English:

window dressing


  • 1The arrangement of an attractive display in a shop window.

    • ‘However, Elfi did also enjoy dress design, interior design and window dressing and these courses did receive the maternal nod, and she graduated with qualifications in them all.’
    • ‘Simon is the head baker of the family, while Julie - also currently studying interior design - has become something of an expert on window dressing.’
    1. 1.1 An adroit but superficial or actually misleading presentation of something, designed to create a favorable impression.
      ‘the government's effort has amounted to little more than window dressing’
      • ‘The principles, we now know, were mostly window dressing in the Soviet Union; beyond the windows stood the most ghastly horrors.’
      • ‘He said the police initiative did not appear to be window dressing and the chamber felt it was a serious move to clamp down on crime.’
      • ‘Or was it, as his rivals claim, merely window dressing designed to conceal as well as reveal?’
      • ‘After spending two pages enumerating various national and international agreements, conventions, and programs, he concludes that in essence they are little more than window dressing.’
      • ‘Charles, in his classic Texas way, said, ‘A proclamation is just window dressing.’’
      • ‘Many faculty see shared governance as window dressing for rather dictatorial rule.’
      • ‘All talk of ‘solidarity’ and the ‘stabilisation of the welfare state’ is mere window dressing aimed at covering up the real core of the SPD program.’
      • ‘Cynics who suspect that problem based learning in medical education is just window dressing the same loaded curriculum disguised to make students think they directed it themselves have a prestigious addition to their camp.’
      • ‘Another said: ‘The Clark Government is all window dressing and no substance.’’
      • ‘And Premiere wrote that ‘the intellectual aspirations of this series are just window dressing.’
      • ‘My impression of Xena from the TV days was of a frivolous show with attractive window dressing.’
      • ‘And no amount of rhetorical window dressing about ‘compassionate’ globalization can conceal that this is a government brought to power in an effort to stifle a social explosion.’
      • ‘Many businessmen suspect that government policies and systems to curb smuggling and undervaluation practices are mere window dressing to improve the tarnished image of the corruption-infested customs offices.’
      • ‘But there is more here than just decorative window dressing - the loose, inconclusive story and the subtle, understated performances make In The Mood For Love wonderfully compelling and provocative.’
      • ‘In his view, art for art's sake had become little more than the deceitful window dressing - the glossy, ideological veneer - of a moribund and decrepit bourgeois civilization.’
      • ‘Superficially, there may appear to be a change but it takes more than window dressing to affect real change.’
      • ‘The professional guidelines that news organizations have developed through the years are more than just a form of fancy window dressing designed to disguise the hidden political agendas of reporters and anchormen.’
      • ‘Community involvement was window dressing to get the money.’
      • ‘This was all window dressing to give the appearance that the UAW was trying to defend the retirees' benefits and uphold the right of the rank and file to have a say in any changes.’
      • ‘This is crucial, because journalists have uncovered how drug company employees are analyzing data and writing up studies that are published with scientists' names tacked on for window dressing.’
      appearance, display, impression, ostentation, affectation, image
      View synonyms


window dressing

/ˈwɪndoʊ ˌdrɛsɪŋ//ˈwindō ˌdresiNG/