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 favorableb : something used to create a deceptively favorable or attractive impression
window–dressplay \ˈwin-dō-ˌdres\ transitive verb
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
First Known Use of window dressing
Financial Definition of WINDOW DRESSING
What It Is
Window dressing is a term that describes the act of making a company's performance, particularly its financial statements, look attractive.
How It Works
Let's assume Company XYZ wants to look attractive to potential acquirers. It might do some window dressing by announcing much higher sales projections, obtaining and holding a lot of cash, or making other announcements that are likely to raise the stock price, even if only for a short time. The objective is to make a favorable impression on potential acquirers.
Companies are not the only ones to engage in window dressing. Mutual funds do it as well, often by cutting their losses and buying high-fliers (sometimes that are not even in the fund's investment sector) near the end of a reporting period.
Why It Matters
Window dressing is an attention-getting maneuver that can venture into unethical or illegal territory. At a minimum, the practice is generally looked upon unfavorably (after all, everyone has experienced the feeling of realizing that something isn't quite what it's cracked up to be). Nonetheless, when done carefully, window dressing can pay off by attracting customers, lenders, or investors.
WINDOW DRESSING Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of window dressing for English Language Learners
: the act of decorating and arranging products to display in a store window
: 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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