dress

verb
\ ˈdres How to pronounce dress (audio) \
dressed; dressing; dresses

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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Synonyms & Antonyms for dress

Synonyms: Verb

bandage, bind, swathe

Synonyms: Noun

frock, gown

Synonyms: Adjective

dressy, formal

Antonyms: Adjective

casual, informal, sportif, sporty

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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

Charles’s assistant Satoshi Ikeda made some tiny final tweaks as I was dressed and crowned at the St Regis Hotel in Galliano’s palatial suite. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Hamish Bowles Explains the Inspiration Behind His Sea Foam-Green Met Gala Hair," 8 May 2019 Wearing her hair pulled up, she was dressed in a long tan trench coat, scarf, and heels. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Kylie Jenner Dressed as “Captain Marvel” And More of the Weekend’s Stylish Celeb Moments," 29 Apr. 2019 The researchers dressed both horses and zebras in black coats, white coats, and striped zebra coats. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Dressed Horses as Zebras to Learn What Stripes Are For," 25 Feb. 2019 The 2018 Silver Arrow’s seat and steering wheel are clad in a classy tan leather, the interior of the cockpit is dressed in a mix of polished aluminum and gray suede, and the floor is a pinstriped walnut. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Mercedes’ EQ Silver Arrow blends classic design with electric superpowers," 3 Oct. 2018 In the same large bowl with dressing, toss snap peas, cucumber, radishes, scallions, and lettuce. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Korean Steak Salad with Sugar Snaps and Radishes," 16 Aug. 2018 Feel free to use whatever dressing you like, though. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "3 Simple Ways to Cook With Asparagus," 5 Apr. 2019 Get bae involved in the costume by dressing them up as Noah. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "8 Best "The Kissing Booth" Halloween Costume Ideas," 16 Aug. 2018 Every team has its full coaching staff here, each group of coaches dressed for games in matching sportswear, like a bowling team. Scott Ostler, SFChronicle.com, "Some summer fun at NBA’s Summer League," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Bloggers and influencers are wearing Tevas by Outdoor Voices or by Anna Sui with extra-feminine summer dresses. Glamour, "The Best Sandals for Spring Are Ones Everyone Can Agree On," 9 May 2019 Kylie Jenner stepped out at Nobu in New York on May 3 wearing a blazer as a dress. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kylie Jenner's Sparkly Fishnet Pants Scream Business Now, Party Later," 4 May 2019 The singer donned a black sequined dress with a thigh-high slit and high neck and, as always, looked incredible. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Kelly Clarkson Wore a Dress With a Thigh-High Slit on the 2019 Billboard Awards Red Carpet," 2 May 2019 Between her plaid skirt and floral, Liberty-print dress, Charlotte's style is shaping up to be just like Queen Elizabeth's was, back when the monarch was growing up. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Princess Charlotte's Floral Dress Is Shockingly Still Available to Shop," 1 May 2019 Dress it up in a stylishly seductive package, a vintage cocktail dress, and a pair of cowboy boots. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Meet the Poster Girl for L.A.’s Zero-Proof Party Scene," 24 Apr. 2019 Kim Kardashian also chose to match her big sister in another vintage Versace look, but opted for a black, beaded mini dress from the Fall 1997 Haute Couture show. Chrissy Rutherford, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim and Kourtney Kardashian Twin in Vintage Versace," 19 Apr. 2019 Bryan said that the opossum was actually snuggled into one of the girls dresses, with its head peeking out of the pocket. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "A Opossum Was Living in a 7-Year-Old’s Room For Three Days Before Anyone Noticed," 19 Apr. 2019 Luna, in a very fetch Moana tunic/pj set/dress, chattered along and pointed at her dad excitedly. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen and Daughter Luna Dance Adorably to John Legend Singing Live," 17 Apr. 2019

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

11 May 2019

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 How to pronounce dress (audio) \
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 How to pronounce dress (audio) \

Medical Definition of dress

: to apply dressings or medicaments to

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More from Merriam-Webster on dress

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dress

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dress

Spanish Central: Translation of dress

Nglish: Translation of dress for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dress for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dress

Comments on dress

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