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

In casino halls packed into this city’s premium high-rise office towers, young, skimpily dressed croupiers deal cards and flash winning smiles for Chinese gamblers. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "Virtual Casinos Deliver a Tricky Jackpot to the Philippines," 19 Mar. 2019 Transfer 4 tablespoons dressing to another bowl; reserve. Kate Merker, Country Living, "Green Salad With Roasted Carrots and Creamy Tarragon Dressing," 11 Mar. 2019 Ali Sonko, the world’s most famous former dishwasher who worked his way up at Noma to become a partner in 2017, strolls up to the entrance, his lanky frame dressed in a sharp black suit. Mary Holland, Condé Nast Traveler, "What It's Like to Eat at Noma, One of the World’s Most Famous Restaurants," 21 Dec. 2018 Place warm quinoa in a bowl and toss with dressing. Anna Thomas Bates, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "On a hot day, this quinoa salad can cool you down - without overheating your kitchen," 11 July 2018 Meghan was dressed in a dark green top and mid-length skirt with pockets, her hair pulled back in an off-center low chignon. Maria Puente, USA TODAY, "Duchess Meghan, Prince Harry arrive in Ireland on first foreign trip as couple," 10 July 2018 Contrast can be as effective as coordination when dressing as a pair. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Riverdale’s Resident Power Couple Makes a Rare Red Carpet Appearance," 8 Mar. 2019 Charlie Chaplins and Clara Bows clustered around the pool once again; Bart Lytton attended dressed as a devil. Lesley M.m. Blume, Town & Country, "Inside Frank Gehry's Overhaul of Garden of Allah, L.A.’s Most Infamous Corner," 25 Feb. 2019 The singer picked a very appropriate alter ego, and dressed as Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Taylor Swift Dressed as "The Little Mermaid" For New Year's Eve," 1 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Finally, what's old is new: cardigans, baby-doll dresses and laced-up looks that would make Grandma proud are back in style. Teen Vogue, "Festival Clothing that Stands Out in the Crowd: 12 Must-Have Styles," 9 Apr. 2019 In Huron, there’s no place to buy a dress, deliver a baby, or attend high school (teens ride the school bus to a town 30 miles away). Melody Warnick, Woman's Day, "These Small-Town Heroes Are Helping Their Communities Thrive," 2 Apr. 2019 For decades, she's meticulously coordinated her coats, hats, dresses, and more, achieving a level of tonal continuity unachievable by most. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth's Umbrellas Are Custom Made to Match Her Outfits," 23 Mar. 2019 The label also offers vacation staples including dresses and jumpsuits and everything is made from premium Italian fabrics. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "The Best New Swimwear of Summer 2019," 21 Mar. 2019 Doria wore a custom dress and day coat designed by creative directors of Oscar de la Renta, Fernando Garcia, and Laura Kim, Kensington Palace confirmed in a statement. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Meghan Markle's Mom Doria Ragland Sounds Like the Coolest Person Ever," 6 Mar. 2019 From sweet, printed dresses and polka-dot tops to baseball tees and sneakers, now's the time to stock up on your favorite Gymboree finds. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Gymboree Is Reportedly Closing—Here's What to Get Before It's Gone for Good," 15 Jan. 2019 Kate, meanwhile, donned an elegant white dress and matching headpiece. Tyler Mccarthy, Fox News, "Prince William, Kate, Prince Harry and Meghan gather for Prince Louis' christening," 2 Oct. 2018 For her first public appearance post-diagnosis, the actress attended the Vanity Fair Oscars Party in a Ralph and Russo dress. Ariel Henley, Allure, "How Fashion Lets Me Embrace the Physical Differences Caused by Crouzon Syndrome," 12 Mar. 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

13 Apr 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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