dress

1 of 3

verb

dressed; dressing; dresses

transitive verb

1
a
: to make or set straight
b
: to arrange (troops, equipment, etc.) in a straight line and at proper intervals
2
: to prepare for use or service
specifically : to prepare for cooking or for the table
dress a salad
3
: to add decorative details or accessories to : embellish
4
a
: to put clothes on
dress a child
b
: to provide with clothing
feed and dress a growing family
5
archaic : dress down
6
a
: to apply dressings or medicaments to
dress a wound
b(1)
: to arrange (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 (a material, such as lumber or stone)

intransitive verb

1
a
: to put on clothing
b
: to put on or wear formal, elaborate, or fancy clothes
dress for dinner
2
of a food animal : to weigh after being dressed
often used with out
3
: to align oneself with the next soldier in a line to make the line straight

dress

2 of 3

noun

1
2
: an outer garment (as for a woman or girl) usually consisting of a one-piece bodice and skirt
3
: covering, adornment, or appearance appropriate or peculiar to a particular time
4
: a particular form of presentation : guise

dress

3 of 3

adjective

1
: suitable for a formal occasion
dress clothes
dress shoes
2
: requiring or permitting formal dress
a dress affair
3
: relating to or used for a dress
dress material
Phrases
dress ship
: 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

Verb They dressed themselves in a hurry. He dressed the child in a snowsuit. She showered, dressed, and ate breakfast. She dressed warmly for skiing. She is dressing for the opera. They always dress for dinner. The nurse dressed the cut on my knee. Noun She wore dresses only on special occasions. She wore a short black dress to the party. Her wedding dress was decorated with lace. The guests were clothed in traditional Indian dress. It is wise to wear conservative dress to an interview. Adjective I wore dress pants and a nice sweater. the naval commander wore his dress uniform to the ball
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Barefoot and dressed in their traditional huipiles — indigenous skirts and blouses — Las Amazonas de Yaxunah have earned opportunities to play beyond the sandy fields of their town, delivering hits in big stadiums such as Phoenix’s Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Jad El Reda, Los Angeles Times, 2 June 2024 The scene then transitions to an outdoor field, where a teenager — dressed in a graduation gown and matching cap — is captured landing, before calling on others to join him. Nicholas Rice, Peoplemag, 2 June 2024
Noun
Keep scrolling to shop more of our favorite classic black dresses below. Averi Baudler, Peoplemag, 3 June 2024 Adele has long used her platform and concerts to voice her support for the LGBTQ+ community, wearing a dress with a rainbow train at a concert during Pride Month last year and honoring victims of homophobic violence during her shows. Eva Hartman, Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2024
Adjective
While Gigi's mid-length dress featured a sheer corset, her sister walked down the runway in an opaque mini-dress version of the look. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 27 Feb. 2022 And within the summer maxi dress umbrella are options for every style and aesthetic; there’s one to delight no matter your style—even a few for the non-dress girls! Madeline Fass, Vogue, 4 May 2021 See all Example Sentences for dress 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dress.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

Middle English, from Anglo-French drescer, dresser to direct, put right, from 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

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1745, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dress was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near dress

Cite this Entry

“Dress.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dress. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

dress

1 of 3 verb
1
: to make or set straight
2
a
: to put clothes on
b
: to provide with clothing
c
: to put on or wear formal or fancy clothes
3
: to trim or decorate for display
4
: to put in order
5
a
: to apply dressings or medicine to
dress a wound
b
: to arrange (as the hair) by combing, brushing, or curling
d
: to kill and prepare for market
dress a chicken
e
: to apply manure or fertilizer to
6

dress

2 of 3 noun
1
2
: an outer garment with a skirt for a woman or child
3
: clothing appropriate to a particular time or occasion
Roman dress
evening dress

dress

3 of 3 adjective
1
: suitable or required for a formal occasion
dress clothes
2
: relating to or used for a dress

Medical Definition

dress

verb
: to apply dressings or medicaments to

More from Merriam-Webster on dress

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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