dressed to kill

(redirected from dressed fit to kill)
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dressed to kill

Very well-dressed and fashionable, typically in an attempt to impress other people. I have to be dressed to kill at this event tonight—a lot of important people will be there.
See also: dress, kill, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

dressed to kill

 and dressed (up) fit to kill
Fig. dressed in fancy or stylish clothes. (See also dressed (up) fit to kill.) Wow, look at Sally! She's really dressed to kill. A person doesn't go on vacation dressed to kill. When Joe came to pick Mary up for the movie, he was dressed up fit to kill and carrying a dozen roses.
See also: dress, kill, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dressed to kill

Also, dressed to the nines. Elaborately attired, as in For the opening of the restaurant she was dressed to kill, or At the opera everyone was dressed to the nines. The first of these hyperbolic expressions dates from the early 1800s and uses kill in the sense of "to a great or impressive degree." The phrase to the nines in the sense of "superlative" dates from the late 1700s and its original meaning has been lost, but the most likely theory is that it alludes to the fact that nine, the highest single-digit numeral, stands for "best." Also see gussied up.
See also: dress, kill, to
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

dressed to kill

If someone, especially a woman, is dressed to kill, they are wearing very smart or attractive clothes which are intended to attract attention and impress people. She watched his plane come into Mascot airport, dressed to kill, her hand shielding her eyes.
See also: dress, kill, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

dressed to kill

wearing attractive and flamboyant clothes in order to make a striking impression.
See also: dress, kill, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

dressed to ˈkill

(informal) (especially of a woman) wearing your best clothes, especially clothes that attract attention: She went to the party dressed to kill.
See also: dress, kill, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

dressed to kill

mod. dressed in fancy or stylish clothes to impress someone. I’m never dressed to kill. I just try to be neat.
See also: dress, kill, to
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

dressed to kill/to the nines

Very fashionably attired. The first expression is a nineteenth-century Americanism. It appears in print in E. G. Paige’s Dow’s Patent Sermons, ca. 1849 (“A gentleman tiptoeing along Broadway, with a lady wiggle-waggling by his side, and both dressed to kill”). The precise analogy is no longer known. “Kill” may allude to the idea of making a conquest, or perhaps it is an extension of something “done to death”—that is, overdone. Dressed to the nines, also put as dressed up to the nines, is British in origin and literally means elaborately dressed to perfection. The “nines” were singled out to signify “superlative” in numerous other contexts from the late eighteenth century on, but no one is quite sure why. Some say it is because nine, as the highest single-digit number, symbolizes the best. Today, however, it is the numeral ten that signifies the best (as, for example, in Olympics judging). Other writers suggest that nines is a corruption of “to then eyne”—that is, to the eyes—but this interpretation doesn’t make much sense either. Describing an old department store holding its final sale before closing and lavishly decorated for Christmas, Mary Cantwell observed that “the corpse was dressed to the nines” (New York Times, Dec. 1989).
See also: dress, kill, nine, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
And when one is so arrayed, we call it not only dressed up, but spruced up, dressed to the nines, dressed fit to kill, in fine feathers, and even (for men only) in tails.
He was dressed fit to kill in a fancy suit and long hair like he was going to some costume party or something.