dressed to the nines


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to dressed to the nines: The whole nine yards

dressed to the nines

Very well-dressed and fashionable, typically for a formal event. I have to be dressed to the nines at this gala tonight—a lot of important people will be there. The whole family will be dressed to the nines at the wedding, I'll make sure of it.
See also: dress, nine, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

dressed to the nines

 and dressed to the teeth
Fig. dressed very stylishly with nothing overlooked. She showed up for the picnic dressed to the nines. Clare is usually dressed to the teeth in order to impress people.
See also: dress, nine, to
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dressed to the nines

or

dressed up to the nines

If someone is dressed to the nines or is dressed up to the nines, they are wearing very smart or glamorous clothes. Everyone is dressed to the nines. Huge hats, frills, tight dresses, sequins and high heels. Lola was off to a party, all dressed up to the nines. Note: You can also say that someone is done up to the nines. It felt like a wedding, with everyone done up to the nines. Note: There have been many explanations offered for the origin of this expression. Most relate to the number nine in some way, but none has been generally accepted.
See also: dress, nine, to
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

dressed (up) to the nines

dressed very smartly or elaborately.
This expression may come from the 99th Wiltshire Regiment, a military unit who were noted for their smart appearance.
See also: dress, nine, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

dressed (up) to the ˈnines

(informal) wearing very elegant or formal clothes, especially to attract attention: She was dressed up to the nines in her furs and jewellery.
See also: dress, nine, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

dressed to the nines

and dressed to the teeth
mod. dressed very stylishly with nothing overlooked. (see also the whole nine yards for the nine.) She always goes out dressed to the nines. Clare is usually dressed to the teeth in order to impress people.
See also: dress, nine, 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

dressed to the nines

Wearing fashionably elegant clothing. History fails to offer a definitive explanation for this phrase. Among those that have been advanced are emulating the Nine Worthies of the ancient world, the British Army's 99th Foot Regiment's smart uniform, the nine buttons on a medieval woman's gloves, and the nine muses. Whatever the real derivation, we can agree that “nine” has a special significance in the English language, as in “cloud nine” and “the whole nine yards.”
See also: dress, nine, to
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Dressed to the nines in a tux, Gateshead-born John Wilson, the man to lead us on our cinematic journey, had entered to rapturous applause.
might best be described as an aggressive knife dressed to the nines. The blade is a graceful yet wide 4-inch 154CM stainless steel clip point with a deep-bellied grind for superb cut.
Dressed to the nines, this Alabama man in his pinstripes, high collar, and spats.
However, it was also a cool evening and many in the audience felt the chill as they were dressed to the nines.
I was invited to dine in a restaurant so posh - With food so superb (I couldn't call it nosh) There waiting for us, my son and wife, dressed to the nines. Everyone looking so great, I was so proud, they're mine.
We'd see team coaches leaving their hotels, players arriving at the stadium, dressed to the nines. It was practically a day long affair on both ITV and BBC.
DRESSED TO THE NINES: The youngsters of Oakfields Community College put on their glad rags for their end-of-school prom Pictures by PETER REIMANN READY TO PARTY: Two pupils arrive at the event, left, dressed in their finery
Which given the nature of the celebrations at Epsom he looked joyous, yet nervous and perhaps a little out of place among the propah gentlemen dressed to the nines in tails and top hats.
"My decision was solidified after a trip to Las Vegas where I saw a lot of women dressed to the nines walking barefoot on the 'icky' casino floors,"
This production is all about making the dreams of princesses come true - and with an audience of wide-eyed little girls dressed to the nines in princess costumes, that's exactly what it did!
The wider festival calendar might be more concerned with the build up to Glastonbury on Friday but who wants to be wading about in wellies on a muddy farm when you could be dressed to the nines for the week-long series of classical events at the little rural idyll just outside Caerphilly?
But the other day I caught her (she didn't see me though) admiring herself in the mirror dressed to the nines in my evening suit, replete with a bow tie and a moustache pencilled under her hooter.
Uphill all the way, under the trees, past the three-cardmonte players and the pub you'll be visiting on the way home, with everyone dressed to the nines, whatever they are.
Emirates reveals its colors for its new Airbus A380 as the first aircraft glides out of a Hamburg hangar dressed to the nines. A further 58 double-decker aircraft are on order for the Dubai carrier and will be the second to operate the very large aircraft.