Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of dress
Meaning of dress by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Middle English, from Old French dresser, drescer, drecier ( “to erect, set up, arrange, dress” ), from Medieval Latin * directiare, an assumed frequentive, from Latin directus ( “ straight, direct” ), perfect passive participle of dīrigō ( “straighten, direct” ), from dis- ( “asunder, in pieces, apart, in two” ) + regō ( “make straight, rule” ) .


    • enPR: drĕs, IPA: /drɛs/, /dɹɛs/, X-SAMPA: /drEs/
    • Rhymes: -ɛs


    dress ( countable and uncountable; plural: dresses )

    1. ( countable ) An item of clothing ( usually worn by a woman or young girl ) which covers the upper part of the body as well as below the waist .
      Amy and Mary looked very pretty in their dresses .
    2. ( uncountable ) Apparel, clothing .
      He came to the party in formal dress .
    3. The system of furrows on the face of a millstone .


    dress ( third-person singular simple present dresses, present participle dressing, simple past dressed, past participle dressed or drest ( obsolete ) )

    1. ( obsolete, reflexive, intransitive ) To prepare oneself; to make ready. [14th-16th c.]
      • 1485, Thomas Malory, Le Morte Darthur, Book IV:
        And lyghtly syr Gawayne rose on his feet, and pulled out his swerd, and dressyd hym toward syr Marhaus on foote [...] .
    2. To adorn, ornament. [from 15th c.]
      It was time to dress the windows for Christmas again .
    3. ( transitive ) To treat ( a wound, or wounded person ). [from 15th c.]
    4. ( transitive ) To prepare ( food ) for cooking, especially by seasoning it. [from 15th c.]
    5. ( transitive ) To fit out with the necessary clothing; to clothe, put clothes on ( something or somebody ). [from 15th c.]
      He was dressed in the latest fashions .
    6. ( intransitive ) To clothe oneself; to put on clothes. [from 18th c.]
      I rose and dressed before daybreak .
      It's very cold out. Dress warm .
    7. ( intransitive ) Of a man, to allow the genitals to fall to one side or other of the trousers. [from 20th c.]
      Does sir dress to the right or the left?
    8. ( transitive ) To prepare the surface of ( a material; usually stone or lumber ) .



    Related terms


    External links

    • dress in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • dress in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
    • dress at OneLook Dictionary Search

Explanation of dress by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. arrange attractively

    2. dress my hair for the wedding
    3. dress or groom with elaborate care

    4. She likes to dress when going to the opera
    5. dress in a certain manner

    6. She dresses in the latest Paris fashion
      he dressed up in a suit and tie
    7. give a neat appearance to

    8. dress the horses
    9. put on clothes

    10. we had to dress quickly
      dress the patient
      Can the child dress by herself?
    11. provide with clothes or put clothes on

    12. Parents must feed and dress their child
    13. apply a bandage or medication to

    14. dress the victim's wounds
    15. convert into leather

    16. dress the tanned skins
    17. kill and prepare for market or consumption

    18. dress a turkey
    19. cut down rough-hewn ( lumber ) to standard thickness and width

    20. put a finish on

    21. dress the surface smooth
    22. cultivate, tend, and cut back the growth of

    23. dress the plants in the garden
    24. put a dressing on

    25. dress the salads
    26. provide with decoration

    27. dress the windows
    28. decorate ( food ) , as with parsley or other ornamental foods

    29. arrange in ranks

    30. dress troops
    1. ( of an occasion ) requiring formal clothes

    2. a dress dinner
      a full-dress ceremony
    3. suitable for formal occasions

    4. a full-dress uniform
      dress shoes
    1. clothing in general

    2. fastidious about his dress
    3. clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion

    4. battle dress
    5. a one-piece garment for a woman

    Definition of dress by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Dress ( drĕs ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Dressed ( drĕst ) or Drest; p. pr. & vb. n. Dressing.] [OF. drecier to make straight, raise, set up, prepare, arrange, F. dresser, ( assumed ) LL. directiare, fr. L. dirigere, directum, to direct; dis- + regere to rule. See Right, and cf. Address, Adroit, Direct, Dirge.]
      1. To direct; to put right or straight; to regulate; to order. [Obs.]

      At all times thou shalt bless God and pray Him to dress thy ways. Chaucer.

      ☞ Dress is used reflexively in Old English, in sense of “to direct one's step; to address one's self.”

      To Grisild again will I me dresse. Chaucer.

      2. ( Mil. ) To arrange in exact continuity of line, as soldiers; commonly to adjust to a straight line and at proper distance; to align; as, “to dress the ranks”.

      3. ( Med. ) To treat methodically with remedies, bandages, or curative appliances, as a sore, an ulcer, a wound, or a wounded or diseased part.

      4. To adjust; to put in good order; to arrange; specifically: To prepare for use; to fit for any use; to render suitable for an intended purpose; to get ready; as, “to dress a slain animal; to dress meat; to dress leather or cloth; to dress or trim a lamp; to dress a garden; to dress a horse, by currying and rubbing; to dress grain, by cleansing it; in mining and metallurgy, to dress ores, by sorting and separating them.”

      And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it. Gen. ii. 15.

      When he dresseth the lamps he shall burn incense. Ex. xxx. 7.

      Three hundred horses . . . smoothly dressed. Dryden.

      Dressing their hair with the white sea flower. Tennyson.

      If he felt obliged to expostulate, he might have dressed his censures in a kinder form. Carlyle.

      To cut to proper dimensions, or give proper shape to, as to a tool by hammering; also, to smooth or finish.

      To put in proper condition by appareling, as the body; to put clothes upon; to apparel; to invest with garments or rich decorations; to clothe; to deck.

      Dressed myself in such humility. Shak.

      Prove that ever Idress myself handsome till thy return. Shak.

      To break and train for use, as a horse or other animal.

      To dress up or To dress out, to dress elaborately, artificially, or pompously. “You see very often a king of England or France dressed up like a Julius Cæsar.” Addison. -- To dress a ship ( Naut. ), to ornament her by hoisting the national colors at the peak and mastheads, and setting the jack forward; when dressed full, the signal flags and pennants are added. Ham. Nav. Encyc.

      Syn. -- To attire; apparel; clothe; accouter; array; robe; rig; trim; deck; adorn; embellish.

    2. Dress, v. i.
      1. ( Mil. ) To arrange one's self in due position in a line of soldiers; -- the word of command to form alignment in ranks; as, “Dress right, dress!”

      2. To clothe or apparel one's self; to put on one's garments; to pay particular regard to dress; as, “to dress quickly”. “To dress for a ball.” Latham.

      To flaunt, to dress, to dance, to thrum. Tennyson.

      To dress to the right, To dress to the left, To dress on the center ( Mil. ), to form alignment with reference to the soldier on the extreme right, or in the center, of the rank, who serves as a guide.

    3. Dress, n.
      1. That which is used as the covering or ornament of the body; clothes; garments; habit; apparel. “In your soldier's dress.” Shak.

      2. A lady's gown; as, “silk or a velvet dress”.

      3. Attention to apparel, or skill in adjusting it.

      Men of pleasure, dress, and gallantry. Pope.

      4. ( Milling ) The system of furrows on the face of a millstone. Knight.

      Dress parade ( Mil. ), a parade in full uniform for review.