Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

dress

play
verb \ˈdres\

Simple Definition of dress

  • : to put clothes on (yourself or someone else)

  • : to put clothes on yourself

  • : to put on or wear a particular type or style of clothes

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dress

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to make or set straight b :  to arrange (as troops) in a straight line and at proper intervals

  3. 2 :  to prepare for use or service; specifically :  to prepare for cooking or for the table <dress a salad>

  4. 3 :  to add decorative details or accessories to :  embellish

  5. 4 a :  to put clothes on <dress a child> b :  to provide with clothing <feed and dress a growing family>

  6. 5 archaic :  dress down

  7. 6 a :  to apply dressings or medicaments to <dress a wound> b (1) :  to arrange (as the hair) by combing, brushing, or curling (2) :  to groom and curry (an animal) c :  to kill and prepare for market or for consumption —often used with out d :  cultivate, tend; especially :  to apply manure or fertilizer to <dress a field> e :  to put through a finishing process; especially :  to trim and smooth the surface of (as lumber or stone)

  8. intransitive verb
  9. 1 a :  to put on clothing b :  to put on or wear formal, elaborate, or fancy clothes <dress for dinner>

  10. 2 of a food animal :  to weigh after being dressed —often used with out

  11. 3 :  to align oneself with the next soldier in a line to make the line straight

dress ship

  1. :  to ornament a ship for a celebration by hoisting national ensigns at the mastheads and running a line of signal flags and pennants from bow to stern

Examples of dress in a sentence

  1. They dressed themselves in a hurry.

  2. He dressed the child in a snowsuit.

  3. She showered, dressed, and ate breakfast.

  4. She dressed warmly for skiing.

  5. She is dressing for the opera.

  6. They always dress for dinner.

  7. The nurse dressed the cut on my knee.



Origin and Etymology of dress

Middle English, from Anglo-French drescer, dresser to direct, put right, Vulgar Latin *directiare, from Latin directus direct, past participle of dirigere to direct, from dis- + regere to lead straight — more at right


First Known Use: 14th century


2

dress

noun

Simple Definition of dress

  • : a piece of clothing for a woman or a girl that has a top part that covers the upper body and a skirt that hangs down to cover the legs

  • : a particular type of clothing

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dress

  1. 1 :  apparel, clothing

  2. 2 :  an outer garment (as for a woman or girl) usually consisting of a one-piece bodice and skirt

  3. 3 :  covering, adornment, or appearance appropriate or peculiar to a particular time

  4. 4 :  a particular form of presentation :  guise

Examples of dress in a sentence

  1. She wore dresses only on special occasions.

  2. She wore a short black dress to the party.

  3. Her wedding dress was decorated with lace.

  4. The guests were clothed in traditional Indian dress.

  5. It is wise to wear conservative dress to an interview.



1606

First Known Use of dress

1606


3

dress

adjective

Simple Definition of dress

  • : suitable or required for a formal event

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of dress

  1. 1 :  suitable for a formal occasion <dress clothes> <dress shoes>

  2. 2 :  requiring or permitting formal dress <a dress affair>

  3. 3 :  relating to or used for a dress <dress material>

Examples of dress in a sentence

  1. I wore dress pants and a nice sweater.

  2. <the naval commander wore his dress uniform to the ball>



1767

First Known Use of dress

1767



DRESS Defined for Kids

1

dress

play
verb \ˈdres\

Definition of dress for Students

dressed

dressing

  1. 1 :  to put clothes on

  2. 2 :  to put on clothes in a particular way <Be sure to dress warmly.>

  3. 3 :  to wear formal or fancy clothes <Do I have to dress for dinner?>

  4. 4 :  to apply medicine or bandages to <dress a wound>

  5. 5 :  to trim or decorate for display <dress a store window>

  6. 6 :  to prepare for cooking or eating <dress a chicken> <dress the salad>

dress up

  1. 1 :  to put on formal or fancy clothes

  2. 2 :  to put on a costume <I'm dressing up as a skeleton.>




2

dress

play
noun

Definition of dress for Students

  1. 1 :  a piece of clothing for a woman or girl that has a top part that covers the upper body and that is connected to a skirt covering the lower body

  2. 2 :  clothing <He wore traditional dress.>




3

dress

play
adjective

Definition of dress for Students

  1. :  proper for a formal event <dress clothes>




Medical Dictionary

dress

play
verb \ˈdres\

Medical Definition of dress

  1. :  to apply dressings or medicaments to





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up dress? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

looking or feeling very sad

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

dog-eating-apple

Which is a synonym of asperse?

defame placate divulge beat
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ