Date: 1300-1400
Language: Old French
Origin: dresser 'to arrange', from Latin directus 'straight'; DIRECT1


2 verb
dress2 S2 W2

put on clothes

[intransitive and transitive] to put clothes on yourself or someone else:
Aunt Margaret told her to dress herself in her nicest dress.
I dress the kids before I go to work.
I've got to go home to dress.
I dressed quickly.
dress somebody in something
She dressed Louis in his best blue jersey.
! In spoken English, it is more usual to say get dressed.

wear clothes

[intransitive]DC to wear a particular kind of clothes:
Dress warmly if you're going out for a walk.
dress casually/smartly
I spend most of my time in the house with young children, so I dress casually.
dress for
How do you normally dress for work?
We usually dress for dinner (=wear formal clothes for our evening meal).

make/choose clothes

[transitive]DC to make or choose clothes for someone:
Versace dressed some of the most famous people in Hollywood.

wound/cut etc

MH [transitive] to clean, treat, and cover a wound


DFC [transitive] to clean and prepare meat or fish so that it is ready to cook or eat:
dressed crab


DFC [transitive] to put oil, vinegar, salt etc onto a salad


[transitive] to put an attractive arrangement in a shop window window dresser


[intransitive and transitive]PMW technical to stand in a straight line, or to make soldiers do this


[transitive] formalDC to arrange someone's hair into a special style

wood/stone etc

TI [transitive] technical to prepare or put a special surface onto wood, stone, leather etc

dress down

phrasal verb
1DC to wear clothes that are more informal than the ones you would usually wear:
In many offices, people dress down on Fridays.

dress somebody ↔ down

to speak angrily to someone about something they have done wrong

dress up

phrasal verb
1DCDL to wear special clothes for fun, or to put special clothes on someone
dress up as
He went to the party dressed up as a Chicago gangster.
dress up in
I keep a box of old clothes for the children to dress up in.
dress somebody ↔ up
We dressed him up as a gorilla.
2DC to wear clothes that are more formal than the ones you would usually wear:
It's a small informal party - you don't have to dress up.

dress something ↔ up

to make something more interesting or attractive:
It was the old offer dressed up as something new.

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