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Related to dressing: salad dressing
1. literal A decorative display in a window, typically the window of a store. When my mom and I go shopping at Christmastime, we always check out all the pretty holiday window dressings!
2. figurative Something that makes a person or thing look or seem better than it really is. To me, this new policy seems like window dressing to woo new employees. You say that you've changed, but how do I know it's not just window dressing to make you seem like less of a jerk?
dress someone down
to bawl someone out; to give someone a good scolding. The drill sergeant dressed down the entire squadron for failing inspection. I'm really late. I know my parents will dress me down when I get home.
a harsh scolding. The boss gave the entire sales crew a powerful dressing-down for missing their forecast.
to wear informal clothes I dress down if I know I'm just going to be moving boxes of documents at work.
Usage notes: often said about wearing informal clothes at work
dress somebody downalso dress down somebody
to tell someone angrily what they have done wrong She dressed him down in front of a large group of his co-workers. He dresses down players on their performance in the games.
1. Scold, reprimand, as in The sergeant will dress down the entire unit. In the 15th century the verb dress alone was used in the sense of "punish," down being added several centuries later. It also gave rise to the noun dressing down for punishment with blows or words. For example, The teacher gave the girls a severe dressing down.
2. Wear informal clothes, as in It's best to dress down for a party like a barbecue. [Mid-1900s] For the antonym, see dress up.
1. To scold or reprimand someone: The teacher dressed down the students for arriving to class late. My parents dressed me down for being rude.
2. To wear informal clothes, befitting an occasion or location: I dressed down for the casual party.