dress

verb
\ˈdres \

Definition of dress 

(Entry 1 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : 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

4a : to put clothes on dress a child

b : to provide with clothing feed and dress a growing family

5 archaic : dress down

6a : 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

1a : 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 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

dress

noun

Definition of dress (Entry 2 of 3)

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

adjective

Definition of dress (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Casey Spooner has made his penchant for seminude dressing abundantly clear over the past year or so. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Casey Spooner’s Love of Sheer Garments Now Includes a Little White Dress," 9 July 2018 Eldest son Jackie Jackson posted a photo of himself on Instagram Monday afternoon in a black suit and sunglasses while dressing one of his young twin sons in a similar suit. Andrew Dalton, Fox News, "Joe Jackson buried in same cemetery as son Michael Jackson," 4 July 2018 In a nod to the classic San Francisco Green Goddess dressing, Waterbar executive chef Parke Ulrich has been known to serve a modern version of the salad at his Embarcadero restaurant. Sarah Fritsche, SFChronicle.com, "5 showstopping salads for the 4th of July," 3 July 2018 Warm Sweet Potato-Chopped Salad with Fish You've never had potato salad like this before. Ditch the typical mayonnaise base for creamy sesame dressing for an inventive new take on a summer staple. Danielle Page, USA TODAY, "Inventive summer salads for a fresh take on dinner," 2 July 2018 While all of this was happening, the actor noticed that there was a white man basically dressed the same as him who also had on flip flops (Jarell was wearing sneakers). Breanna Edwards, The Root, "Black Actor Says He Was Kicked Out of Restaurant Because of Hoodie, White Customer in Similar Dress Was Allowed to Stay," 27 June 2018 Balance problems are common in people with autism, and can make daily skills such as dressing challenging. Sarah Deweerdt, Science | AAAS, "Can science-based video games help kids with autism?," 22 June 2018 Everyone witnessed a collection of bands, dance groups, local businesses, drill teams, pipe bands, school groups (some dressed in thick costumes) and vintage cars roll down Lake Bluff streets celebrating the holiday. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, "Controversial lawn mowers, firetruck sirens and crowds cheering the parade – a typical July 4 in Lake Bluff," 6 July 2018 The woman was asleep in her apartment on Tetlow Street when Inyang lay in bed next to her, dressed only in his underwear, according to a police report. Thomas Oide, BostonGlobe.com, "Boston police dog plays role in arrest," 2 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Wearing a sleeveless multicolored dress by British fashion designer Victoria Beckham and spiky flesh-tone stilettos, Trump appeared to take the game seriously and followed a boy’s advice on how to hold the ball. Sylvia Hui, BostonGlobe.com, "Melania Trump dutifully tries her hand at lawn bowling," 13 July 2018 Wearing a sleeveless multicolored dress by British fashion designer Victoria Beckham and spiky flesh-tone stilettos, Mrs. Trump appeared to take the game seriously and followed a boy’s advice on how to hold the ball. Washington Post, "Melania Trump dutifully tries her hand at lawn bowls," 13 July 2018 Wearing a sleeveless multicolored dress by British fashion designer Victoria Beckham and spiky flesh-tone stilettos, Mrs. Trump appeared to take the game seriously and followed a boy's advice on how to hold the ball. Sylvia Hui, Fox News, "Melania Trump dutifully tries her hand at lawn bowls," 13 July 2018 At the formal event, Meghan wore a chic 1950s-style navy dress from Dior, which drew comparisons to Audrey Hepburn. PEOPLE.com, "Meghan Markle Is Doing Her Own Makeup Now and It's 'So Good,' Says Her Wedding Makeup Artist Pal," 12 July 2018 The duchess wore a custom olive green dress from Ralph Lauren for the christening of Prince Louis Monday at the Chapel Royal in St. James's Palace in London. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, "All the details on Duchess Meghan's week of flawless fashion," 12 July 2018 For the reception, Meghan wore a classic black fit-and-flare dress by Emilia Wickstea. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle's Taupe Roland Mouret Dress Means Business for Day 2 of Her Ireland Trip," 11 July 2018 Middleton wore a white Alexander McQueen dress for the occasion. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "See the First Photo of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Royal Children All Together," 9 July 2018 For the big day, Charlotte wore a white and blue smocked dress with a Peter Pan collar, likely from one of Kate Middleton's favorite designers: Little Alice London, Pepa & Co, or Amaia Kids. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "You Have to See Princess Charlotte and Prince George's Outfits From the Royal Christening," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

That's the case even if the job does not require dress clothes. Daniel B. Kline, USA TODAY, "7 ways to improve your chances of getting hired," 31 Aug. 2017 Dress code controversies are nothing new, especially in the era of social media. Rafael Guerrero, chicagotribune.com, "Students question dress codes in District U46," 29 Aug. 2017 Factor in alterations: Dress alterations can be costly, so talk to your salon about their policy in advance. Emily Valla, idahostatesman, "Brides beware: Shop for gowns wisely after company files bankruptcy," 21 July 2017 Dress-code-busting aside, these are some excellent, just-DGAF-enough outfits. Megan Gustashaw, GQ, "2017 ESPY Awards: Every Well-Dressed Athlete You Need to See," 13 July 2017 Dress code double standards not only can make summer unbearable but also serve to police people's gender expression. Suzannah Weiss, Glamour, "These Teenage Boys Wore Skirts to School to Protest Dress Code Double Standards," 23 June 2017 Dress Meets Body collection, which is set in a large funnel-like space with a video of Merce Cunningham’s dancers performing in the clothing by viewers’ feet. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Chief Curator Andrew Bolton Takes Us Inside the Costume Institute's Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between Exhibit," 1 May 2017 Dress rehearsals are over and the Sky open their season Sunday on the road against the second-ranked Minnesota Lynx. Phil Thompson, chicagotribune.com, "Sky's stock low, but players high on coach Amber Stocks," 12 May 2017 Dress blues and elegant gowns were the order of the day, at the Windsor High School annual Air Force Junior ROTC Ball, on April 22. Dennis Hohenberger, Courant Community, "Annual Junior ROTC Ball Held," 5 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dress.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dress

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

History and Etymology for dress

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

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Statistics for dress

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dress

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

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More Definitions for dress

dress

verb

English Language Learners Definition of dress

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: 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

dress

noun

English Language Learners Definition of dress (Entry 2 of 3)

: 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

dress

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of dress (Entry 3 of 3)

: suitable or required for a formal event

dress

verb
\ˈdres \
dressed; dressing

Kids Definition of dress

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : to put clothes on

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

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

4 : to apply medicine or bandages to dress a wound

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

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

dress up

1 : to put on formal or fancy clothes

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

dress

noun

Kids Definition of dress (Entry 2 of 3)

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 : clothing He wore traditional dress.

dress

adjective

Kids Definition of dress (Entry 3 of 3)

: proper for a formal event dress clothes

dress

verb
\ˈdres \

Medical Definition of dress 

: to apply dressings or medicaments to

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Comments on dress

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