dress up

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dress ( oneself ) up

to dress in fancy dress. They dressed themselves up in their finest. Please dress up for the dance.
See also: dress, up

dress someone or something up

to make someone or something appear fancier than is actually so. The publicity specialist dressed the actress up a lot. They dressed up the hall so it looked like a ballroom.
See also: dress, up

dress someone or something up (in something)

to clothe, decorate, or ornament someone or something in something. She dressed her dolls up in special clothing. She dressed up her dolls in tiny outfits.
See also: dress, up

dress someone up (as someone or something )

to dress someone to look like or impersonate someone or something. She dressed her little girl up as a witch for Halloween. She dressed up her little girl as a fairy.
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dress something up

also dress up something
to make something look better or different than it really is No matter how you dress it up, the fact is that we lost. His business record is a string of failures dressed up as successes.
Usage notes: often followed by as, as in the second example
Etymology: based on the literal meaning of dress up (to wear more formal clothes)
See also: dress, up

dress up

1. Wear formal or elaborate clothes, as in I love to dress up for a party. [Late 1600s] For the antonym, see dress down, def. 2.
2. Put on a costume of some kind, as in The children love dressing up as witches and goblins. [Late 1800s]
3. Adorn or disguise something in order to make it more interesting or appealing. For example, She has a way of dressing up her account with fanciful details. [Late 1600s]
See also: dress, up

dress up

1. To clothe someone or something: They dressed their dolls up in outfits they made themselves. The store owner dressed up the mannequin and put it in the window of the store.
2. To wear formal or fancy clothes: The students dressed up and went to the prom.
3. To dress someone in clothes suited for some particular occasion or situation: We dressed up the children for the cold weather. We'll need to dress ourselves up for wet weather. I can see you're dressed up to go hiking.
4. To wear clothes suited for some particular occasion or situation: People usually dress up in white to play tennis.
5. To make something appear more interesting or attractive than it actually is: The real estate agent dressed up the truth about the old house. The story of my trip was pretty boring, so I dressed it up with colorful exaggerations.
See also: dress, up
References in periodicals archive ?
To enter the dress ups area once anyone else is there, a child must ask to play.
As free time began, two little girls were playing in the dress ups area.
Another child (G) entered the dress ups area and began cooking at the stove and setting the table.
Parallel pretend play refers to children playing in the dress ups areas at the same time, but not sharing a pretend game.
Even in cases when the initial leader left the dress ups area and became involved in other activities, a child seeking entry to the dress ups area was sent by children still playing in the dress ups area to the original leader, to ask permission to play.
Consider the following example in the dress ups area as (A) questions (M):