window dressing


Definition of window dressing

1 : the display of merchandise in a retail store window
2a : the act or an instance of making something appear deceptively attractive or favorable
b : something used to create a deceptively favorable or attractive impression

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Other Words from window dressing

window-dress \ ˈwin-​dō-​ˌdres How to pronounce window dressing (audio) \ transitive verb
window dresser noun

Synonyms for window dressing


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Examples of window dressing in a Sentence

These changes are being made for a good reason. They're not just window dressing. the crime-does-not-pay moralizing is just window dressing for nasty hard-boiled stories
Recent Examples on the Web The taxonomy of the projects, their construction and placement, is so much window dressing. Sydette Harry, Wired, "Listening to Black Women: The Innovation Tech Can't Figure Out," 11 Jan. 2021 Alabama, not unlike Clemson, will use motion as window dressing and misdirection for their gap scheme runs. cleveland, "Previewing the Ohio State-Alabama CFP Championship: Jimmies and Joes vs. X’s and O’s," 6 Jan. 2021 Murphy’s Netflix worlds feel like window dressing, jewel-toned, inert, and wildly expensive. Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, "With a big Netflix deal and the power to green-light almost anything, Ryan Murphy has become the ultimate insider. And his work is suffering.," 4 Jan. 2021 If one is an environmentalist, EVs may just look like window dressing. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "GM CEO Barra defends the company's pickup production despite its EV push," 4 Dec. 2020 But no one who wasted another afternoon watching the Lions blow a double-digit lead could have been fooled by the window dressing that has become all too common in the Patricia era. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Don't be fooled by window dressing: Detroit Lions are a bad team, again," 5 Oct. 2020 At best, the AP Poll is window dressing and something to argue about until the initial CFP rankings are released in early-November. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah football’s perception, not to mention benefit of the doubt, continue to grow as Pac-12 green lights football," 26 Sep. 2020 In this period of self-reflection, cultural workers fighting for greater diversity and broader inclusion in their realm see a real opportunity as opposed to what has sometimes come across as window dressing. Steve Johnson,, "More ‘lip service,’ or is this a real moment of change for inclusion in Chicago arts and culture?," 23 Sep. 2020 The remaining $19,820 worth of options on our test car is, for the most part, window dressing. K.c. Colwell, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Z51 vs. Porsche 718 Cayman GT4," 2 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'window dressing.' 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 window dressing

1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for window dressing

Time Traveler

The first known use of window dressing was in 1850

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Statistics for window dressing

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Window dressing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for window dressing

window dressing


English Language Learners Definition of window dressing

: the act of decorating and arranging products to display in a store window
disapproving : something that is intended to make a person or thing seem better or more attractive but that does not have any real importance or effect

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