dress down


dressed down; dressing down; dresses down

transitive verb

: to reprove severely

intransitive verb

: to dress casually especially for reasons of fashion

Examples of dress down in a Sentence

dressed down for boorish behavior at the dance
Recent Examples on the Web For the reception, the NFL star dressed down, swapping his suit for a plain black polo shirt and a pair of gray jeans. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 31 Mar. 2024 Princess Kate dressed down for the outing, wearing black leggings, a pair of black sneakers and a zip-up hoodie (with a subtle message to her royal work!). Kirsty Hatcher, Peoplemag, 19 Mar. 2024 Among the similarities Stephenson highlighted was an early moment in which the protagonist is summoned to his boss’ office and dressed down for wronging a politician. Christy Piña, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Mar. 2024 There's something so fun about seeing our favorite ultra-glam celebs dressed down for a day of errand-running and hanging at home. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 3 Jan. 2024 He’s used it to demand customers buy more steel and to dress down analysts who’ve dared to critique his company’s performance. Bob Tita, WSJ, 1 Dec. 2023 Comfort is king here, and these yoga pants can be dressed up for class or dressed down for lounging at home. Rebecca Jones, Southern Living, 19 Feb. 2024 And while the trend itself has a more sophisticated, uptown kind of vibe, it can be dressed down all the same. Laura Jackson, Vogue, 15 Feb. 2024 Where her father’s generation may have felt a need to dress down and assimilate, she’s sensed a freeing shift. Gabe Hiatt, Washington Post, 23 Jan. 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

1852, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of dress down was in 1852

Dictionary Entries Near dress down

Cite this Entry

“Dress down.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dress%20down. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

dress down

: to criticize severely
: to dress casually
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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