top·​dress·​ing ˈtäp-ˌdre-siŋ How to pronounce topdressing (audio)
variants or top dressing or less commonly top-dressing
plural topdressings or top dressings also top-dressings
: a material (such as compost) used to top-dress soil
Bagged steer manure was used in the past as a topdressing for lawns when overseeding.Bob Morris
By adding an inch of top dressing each year you can get a nice thick layer of topsoil in a few years.Gerald Filipski
also : the act or practice of applying topdressing
Cultivation in conjunction with topdressing should be accomplished during times of the year when there is adequate moisture available and when the turf is actively growing and is in a position to repair itself. Jim Hermann

Examples of topdressing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Let the plugs dry for a few days, then break them up with vigorous raking to create a thin, beneficial topdressing. Viveka Neveln, Better Homes & Gardens, 14 Feb. 2023 Give your perennials a boost this fall with a topdressing of organic matter. Melinda Myers, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11 Sep. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'topdressing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1733, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of topdressing was in 1733

Dictionary Entries Near topdressing

Cite this Entry

“Topdressing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


top·​dress·​ing -ˌdres-iŋ How to pronounce topdressing (audio)
: a material used to top-dress soil
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