Definition of dress verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary





1 [intransitive, transitive] to put clothes on yourself/someone dress (in something)I dressed quickly. dress someone (in something)She dressed the children in their best clothes.Get up and get dressed!The children spend hours dressing and undressing their dolls. antonym undress2 [intransitive, transitive] to wear a particular type or style of clothesto dress well/badly/fashionably/comfortably dress for/in/as somethingYou should dress for cold weather today. dress someone (for/in/as something)She always dressed entirely in black.He was dressed as a woman (= he was wearing women's clothes).3 [intransitive] to put on formal clothesDo they expect us to dress for dinner?4 [transitive] dress someone to provide clothes for someoneHe dresses many of Hollywood's most famous young stars.


5 [transitive] dress something to clean, treat, and cover a woundThe nurse will dress that cut for you.


6 [transitive] dress something to prepare food for cooking or eatingto dress a salad (= put oil or vinegar, etc. on it)to dress a chicken (= take out the parts you cannot eat)


7 [transitive] dress something (formal) to decorate or arrange somethingto dress a store window (= arrange a display of clothes or goods in it)


8 [transitive] dress something to prepare a material such as stone, wood, leather, etc. for use

look/dress the part

to have an appearance or wear clothes suitable for a particular job, role, or position
look the partdress the part

dress down

to wear clothes that are more informal than those you usually wear, for example in an officedress down

dress someone down

to criticize or speak angrily to someone because they have done something wrongdress down

dress up

to wear clothes that are more formal than those you usually wearThere's no need to dress up—come as you are.dress up

dress up


dress someone up

to put on special clothes, especially to pretend to be someone or something different; to help someone do thisKids love dressing up.dress-up clothesdress up

dress something up

to present something in a way that makes it seem better or differentHowever much you try to dress it up, office work is not glamorous.dress up
Usage noteUsage note: Clothes and Fashionclothesbe wearing a new outfit/bright colors/fur/a uniform/a costumebe (dressed) in black/red/jeans and a T-shirt/your best suit/leather/silk/rags (= very old torn clothes)be dressed for work/school/dinner/a special occasionbe dressed as a man/woman/clown/piratewear/dress in casual/designer/second-hand clotheswear jewelry/accessories/a watch/glasses/contact lenses/perfumehave a cowboy hat/red dress/blue suit onput on/take off your clothes/coat/shoes/gloves/socks/helmetchange into/get changed into a pair of jeans/your pajamasappearancechange/enhance/improve your appearancecreate/get/have/give something a new/contemporary/retro lookbrush/comb/shampoo/wash/blow-dry your hairhave/get a haircut/your hair cut/a new hairstylehave/get a piercing/your nose piercedhave/get a tattoo/a tattoo done (on your arm)/a tattoo removedhave/get a makeover/plastic surgery/cosmetic surgery/Botox™ treatmentuse/wear/apply/put on makeup/cosmeticsfashionfollow/keep up with fashion/the latest fashionsspend/waste money on designer clothesbe fashionably/stylishly/well dressedhave good/great/terrible/awful taste in clothesupdate/revamp your wardrobebe in/come into/go out of fashionbe (back/very much) in voguecreate a style/trend for somethingorganize/put on a fashion showshow/unveil a designer's spring/summer collectionsashay/strut down the catwalk/runwaybe on/do a photo/fashion shoot