dress up


Definition of dress up

transitive verb

1 : to make more attractive, glamorous, or fancy dress up a plain dessert with a rich chocolate sauce
2a : to attire in best or formal clothes
b : to attire in clothes suited to a particular role
3 : to present in the most attractive or impressive light a fiasco dressed up as a triumph

intransitive verb

: to get dressed up

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Synonyms for dress up


doll up, dress

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Examples of dress up in a Sentence

we always like to dress up when going to parties the war was a fiasco that the administration tried to dress up as a triumph

Recent Examples on the Web

And having already dressed up as a Victoria's Secret Angel for Halloween 2018 alongside her sisters, Jenner decided to transform into a full-blown celestial being in time for the festive season. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner Literally Looks Like an Angel in This Tiny Magda Butrym Dress," 23 Dec. 2018 One woman created an incredibly detailed dollhouse that looked just like Joanna's designs, while others have dressed up as the pair for Halloween. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Chip Gaines Is Freaking Out Over These Cabbage Patch Doll Replicas of Him and Joanna," 11 Dec. 2018 And while Sandberg's was dressed up as German, the group's planes are primarily adorned with period-appropriate United States insignia. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Plane Painted as a German Fighter Makes a Fiery Crash Landing on the Highway," 24 Oct. 2018 The key to packing [for somewhere like Ibiza] is to bring classic, timeless essentials that can work for multiple occasions, and be dressed up or down. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "Aerin Lauder Keeps Going Back to Ibiza," 30 Aug. 2018 One of the others shows a man in blackface who is dressed up as a woman wearing a wig. Ben Finley, The Seattle Times, "Yearbook staff disagree on whether racist photo was mix-up," 6 Feb. 2019 These Zig-Zag Parts View this post on Instagram A post shared by LACY REDWAY HAIRSTYLIST (@lacyredway) on Sep 23, 2018 at 10:08am PDT An incredibly easy way to dress up straight-back braids? Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "13 Gorgeous Cornrows Photos to Inspire Your Next Look," 30 Jan. 2019 One of the easiest ways to dress up an otherwise casual look is to layer rich textures. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "5 Chic Outfits that Take the Stress Out of Valentine's Day Dressing," 30 Jan. 2019 What's the easiest way to dress up a T-shirt and jeans? Aeyung Kim, Seventeen, "Queer Eye's Tan France Shares the One Gift Your Boyfriend Actually Wants for the Holidays," 9 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dress up.' 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 up

circa 1513, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2a

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Dictionary Entries near dress up

dress suit

dress the part

dress uniform

dress up




Statistics for dress up

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for dress up

The first known use of dress up was circa 1513

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Comments on dress up

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


a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

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