dress up

dressed up; dressing up; dresses 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

Christopher Swader and Justin Swader created the rock-concert stage, dressed up with feather and leather costumes by Lex Liang. New York Times, "Review: The Greeks Go Coachella in a Boisterous ‘Bacchae’," 11 July 2019 People dressing up in giant T. rex costumes is not a new phenomenon. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, "Dozens of costumed T. rex race on a horse track in a delightfully bizarre video," 10 July 2019 Offered daily through mid-August, at 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., this event gives your children an opportunity to dress up in their finest pirate or princess costumes. Michelle Matthews | Mmatthews@al.com, al.com, "This Gulf Shores restaurant hosts a pirates and princesses breakfast," 10 July 2019 That was when the network decided to fill its summer schedule with revivals of classic game shows, dressed up with new hosts. oregonlive.com, "Amid so much grim TV, ABC’s ‘Summer Fun & Games’ shows send your brain on a ‘Whammy’-fueled vacation," 18 June 2019 My new style inspiration right here: Kim shared an adorable Instagram Story featuring North singing in the car, all dressed up for her party: The birthday cake featured multiple rainbow layers and literal candy spilling out when it was sliced. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim and Kourtney Kardashian Celebrate North and Penelope's Birthdays With Candy Land Party," 16 June 2019 It is dressed up but essentially an argument for separate but equal schools, Johnson said. NBC News, "Joe Biden didn't just compromise with segregationists. He fought for their cause in schools, experts say.," 25 June 2019 Heine Brothers Coffee made the restaurant its own Biscuit Belly blend to dress up its barista menu. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, "Biscuit Belly is bringing the fancy biscuit craze to Louisville's NuLu," 6 June 2019 And decades later, famous-name designer jeans — dressed up or down — remain a woman’s wardrobe staple. Ula Ilnytzky, Fortune, "Gloria Vanderbilt, Heiress, Designer, and Artist, Dies at 95," 17 June 2019

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

19 Jul 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).


to complain fretfully

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