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

While there’s still plenty of time for DIY decorating, there’s an even easier way to dress up your home for October 31st that barely takes any effort at all: these spirited string lights. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Halloween String Lights Are the Spooky Decoration You Never Knew You Needed," 29 Aug. 2018 Big Hero 6 from Big Hero 6 This action-packed film just came back as a new animated series, which makes this the perfect time to dress up as these super characters. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "36 Halloween Disney Costumes You And Your BFFs Can Pull Off," 16 Aug. 2018 The Tokyo Auto Salon has hundreds of exhibitors—from automotive titans like Toyota and Mercedes to tire makers, tool makers and toy makers—who all want to show you how to tune up, dress up, or otherwise pimp your ride. Fortune, "This LYZER Supercar Is Covered in 600,000 Hand-Glued Swarovski Crystals," 13 Jan. 2018 This Halloween, Bell’s daughter dressed up like Elsa for Halloween—and made her mom do the same. Megan Friedman, Redbook, "Kristen Bell’s Kids Decapitated a Frozen Christmas Ornament," 11 Dec. 2017 There were bomb threats, security people, press people dressed up as messengers. Nancy Bilyeau, Town & Country, "Jackie Kennedy's Third Act," 18 Aug. 2017 Jay Z, keeping with his wife’s track-and-field theme, dressed up as a member of the 1968 US men’s track and field Olympic team, which won two medals in the 200–meter dash, with sprinters Tommie Smith taking gold and John Carlos taking bronze. Aja Romano, Vox, "Beyoncé and Jay–Z paid tribute to black athletes — and black power — for Halloween," 1 Nov. 2018 Watch the video above to see Florida Supercon fans dress up as their favorite characters, from princesses to superheroes to elves. Mike Stocker, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Video: Florida Supercon fans show off their stunning costumes," 14 July 2018 At the time of her death, Mirack was dressed up to go outside, wearing gloves and a coat, authorities said. Jared Gilmour, miamiherald, "Teacher was raped and murdered in 1992. Gum left at a school just caught the killer, Pa. cops say," 27 June 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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Learn More about dress up

Dictionary Entries near dress up

dress suit

dress the part

dress uniform

dress up




Statistics for dress up

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

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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 make faulty or ineffective

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