dress

verb
\ ˈdres \
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

This painting, by Ben Sullivan, is of a different nature, featuring the Queen seated and dressed in a light blue dress and pearls with her signature Launer London handbag sitting beside her. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Unveiled a Regal New Portrait of Herself at the Palace of Holyroodhouse," 30 Nov. 2018 Gail is dressed in a purple jogging suit with purple sneakers and an umbrella to match. Sadia Hassan, Longreads, "Silence is a Lonely Country: A Prayer in Twelve Parts," 13 July 2018 More than half of the defendants — all of whom were dressed in the same clothes they were arrested in over the weekend — took the government’s offer to plead guilty and be sentenced immediately. Kristina Davis, latimes.com, "San Diego federal court begins fast-tracking border-crossing cases. Critics call it 'assembly line justice'," 10 July 2018 More than half of the defendants — all of whom were dressed in the same clothes they were arrested in over the weekend — took the government’s offer to plead guilty and be sentenced immediately. Kristina Davis, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Fast-track misdemeanor immigration court rolls out with confusion, tension," 9 July 2018 At the event, Prince Harry gave a brief speech while Markle looked on, dressed to stand out in a sunshine-yellow dress. Raisa Bruner, Time, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Held Hands Like a Regular Couple at This Royal Event," 6 July 2018 Romaine is the perfect vehicle to pick up the smokiness from the grill and the flavor is well balanced by the sweetness of the shallot bacon jam and the brightness of the buttermilk blue cheese dressing. Anchorage Daily News, "A revamped menu of comfort food at Rustic Goat restaurant," 5 July 2018 This crab and shrimp salad is lightly dressed with mayo and dill. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Oskar's fills a food void in Louisville we didn't know we had | Review," 4 July 2018 Getting dressed for a night out in Lagos is serious business. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "Maki Oh Has the Antidote to Sleazy Silk Shirts, Straight From Lagos, Nigeria," 16 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And while a home collection may seem like a departure from designing wedding dresses, this collection definitely relates back to Lhuillier's experience in the bridal world. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "Monique Lhuillier's New Pottery Barn Collection Will Make You Feel Like Spring Has Sprung," 4 Jan. 2019 Fendi is slapping its logo, in large font, on sweaters, bags, and dresses. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "How the Great Recession influenced a decade of design," 27 Dec. 2018 Long, loose, and extremely soft dresses from CP Shades always stand the test of time, too. Lale Arikoglu, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Designers Behind Block Shop Share Their Guide to Jaipur," 12 Dec. 2018 Consider the singer’s penchant for high-waisted black pants and oversize button-downs or the supermodel’s sleek, simple black dresses, for example. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "These 4 Style Icons Were Born on the Same Day—Is Capricorn the Chicest Sign?," 16 Jan. 2019 Check out the video above featuring gorgeous dresses, jewelry, and beauty looks. Seventeen, "Go Behind the Scenes at Seventeen's Prom Cover Shoot," 11 Jan. 2019 Brock Collection, dress, $1900, modaoperandi.com, Beaufille, earrings, price upon request, beaufille.com 7 Light as a Feather... Harper's BAZAAR, "10 Trends to Go All In On for 2019," 8 Jan. 2019 In image at top of story: Hathaway in a Dries Van Noten dress ($1,235), shoes ($630); and Pomellato earrings ($30,350) and bracelets ($9,950). Elizabeth Holmes, Town & Country, "Anne Hathaway Is Nobody's Punching Bag," 8 Jan. 2019 Designers are referencing the ’90s all over the place, with chokers and little slip dresses, but the ’70s are also having a moment. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "How the Great Recession influenced a decade of design," 27 Dec. 2018

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

2 Feb 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 \
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 \

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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