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

On Tuesday, the school announced its 2019 color schemes for all of its games so fans can dress accordingly. Dave Southorn, idahostatesman, "Return of the black? Check out Boise State football’s color schemes for 2019 season," 4 June 2019 Costume designer Michael Krass was attracted to the idea of dressing Patrick Page, who plays Hades, as inspired by Huey Long. Barbara Isenberg, latimes.com, "Rachel Chavkin on ‘Hadestown,’ female directors and her dream of a TV miniseries," 4 June 2019 For the pro-choice protestors who storm state capitals dressed in red handmaid habits, the concept of surrogacy has come to stand in for all this unfreedom. Nora Caplan-bricker, The New Republic, "Choose Your Own Family," 4 June 2019 Groom, a redhead dressed to maximum stunning color effect by White, wears Mallory’s frustration and agenda well. Christine Dolen, sun-sentinel.com, "Review: ‘Veronica’s Position’ sparkles like fine cubic zirconia at Island City Stage," 3 June 2019 Lee has just taken this agender approach to dressing to new heights in a literal sense. Vogue, "Swae Lee, Reformed Sneakerhead, Is Now Making the Case for Rappers in Heels," 30 May 2019 Add to bowl with dressing along with Napa cabbage and toss to coat; fold in mint and sprinkle with peanuts. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Tangy Charred Coleslaw," 29 May 2019 Along with a Black Exterior package that dresses the grille details and fender vents in black, the Discovery Sport can be equipped with 21-inch wheels for the first time. Eric Stafford, Car and Driver, "The 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport Adds Style and a Hybrid Model," 21 May 2019 In an operation worthy of James Bond, a British officer snuck into the Vladimir palace dressed as a worker and stashed all the hidden jewels into plastic bags. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Catherine the Great's Emerald Is for Sale—And Queen Elizabeth Has Jewels from the Same Collection," 2 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And the following week—with Erin away and Mariia Pozhar of Ukraine conducting—Nathalie, in a loose purple- and white-dyed dress, would lead them all through it again. Krista Stevens, Longreads, "Sing a Song of Hope: ‘Everything will be all right’," 7 June 2019 Women in summer dresses swing on trapezes in the rain. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Luzia’: A watery wonderland under the big top making its way to Hartford’s Market Street," 6 June 2019 The collection includes dresses, blouses and other clothing items that will only be available on the Amazon app and website for 30 hours. Kaya Yurieff, CNN, "Amazon wants influencers to help it sell clothes," 5 June 2019 Contestants don’t have to wear gowns during the evening-wear segment -- cocktail dresses or pants are acceptable -- but most choose to do so, Teninbaum said. Mary Colurso | Mcolurso@al.com, al.com, "Miss Alabama 2019: Swimsuits are out, interviews are in for 47 women in state competition," 4 June 2019 Most in the audience were in traditional Indigenous dress and held red flowers in remembrance of the women. Dan Bilefsky, New York Times, "Canadian Inquiry Calls Killings of Indigenous Women Genocide," 3 June 2019 Eugenie, 29, went for a fresh monochrome ensemble with a nude Sandro wrap dress, which included a slightly sheer pleated skirt. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice Hit Up the Queen's Garden Party in Style," 29 May 2019 The neutral lyocell-blend dress, which is currently available in sizes 0 to 18. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "This $50 H&M Dress Is the Easiest Way to Stay Stylish All Summer Long," 22 May 2019 After all, who could forget that bright, belted color block dress from the Battle Rounds!? Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Kelly Clarkson's 'Voice' Outfit Was Inspired by 'Designing Women' and Fans Are Losing It," 30 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

8 Jun 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

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