window dressing


: the display of merchandise in a retail store window
: the act or an instance of making something appear deceptively attractive or favorable
: something used to create a deceptively favorable or attractive impression
window-dress transitive verb
window dresser noun

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 And the show does its best to make the retreat’s discussions of climate change, income inequality, and the dangers of advanced technology feel like key thematic parts of the story, rather than window dressing. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 14 Nov. 2023 That’s when people see what’s real and what’s window dressing. Ann Kowal Smith, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2023 But some critics have dismissed the appointments and participation of women in the synod as window dressing. Elisabetta Povoledo, New York Times, 25 Oct. 2023 It could also be related to window dressing as fund managers get their portfolios ready for end of year position reporting. Simon Moore, Forbes, 20 Dec. 2022 Sark’s also been really good at that – window dressing, run the same plays, comes in a different way. Creg Stephenson |, al, 9 Sep. 2023 One high-ranking official quit after concluding that her hiring was just window dressing. Jeré Longman, New York Times, 7 Sep. 2023 This is deeper than the usual corporate mission statement that serves mainly as window dressing–people really believe this. Behnam Tabrizi, Fortune, 3 Aug. 2023 Barbie Land is a pink-bedecked paradise of plastic where all the Barbies hang out and have fun while the Kens are just sort of there as window dressing. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 20 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'window dressing.' 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

1850, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of window dressing was in 1850

Dictionary Entries Near window dressing

Cite this Entry

“Window dressing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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