dressing


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to dressing: salad dressing
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

cross-dress

To dress in clothing and accessories typically worn by the opposite sex in one's society or culture. The actor is known for playing multiple parts within his films, often cross-dressing in order to create memorable female characters. How many heterosexual men cross-dress, do you think? Is it common?

cross-dressing

The act or practice of dressing in clothing and accessories typically worn by the opposite sex in their society or culture. The actor is known for cross-dressing in his films, creating a number of very memorable female characters throughout the years. I wonder how common cross-dressing is among heterosexual men.

dress (up) as (someone or something)

1. To wear clothing or accessories that cause one to look like someone or something else. My daughter plans to dress up as Cinderella for Halloween.
2. To outfit someone or something in clothing or accessories. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "dress" and "up" or "as" (if "up" is not being used). I have a friend who really enjoys dressing her dachshund as different historical figures.
See also: dress

dress a/the/(one's) wound

To clean, apply a medical treatment to, and bandage a wound. The nurse here will dress the wound, and then you'll be free to go. Come on, you have to wash your hands before you dress a wound—that's just common sense. I'll do my best to dress your wound, but you'll need proper medical attention soon.
See also: dress, wound

dress down

1. To severely reprimand someone. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dress" and "down." The boss will definitely dress down the person who messed up this report. Mom and Dad dressed me down when I came in after curfew yet again.
2. To dress more casually than usual. We're allowed to dress down on Fridays if we don't have any big meetings scheduled.
See also: down, dress

dress for (someone or something)

1. To wear certain clothes in order to make someone else happy. I'm sorry, Mom, but I'm 25 years old—I can't dress for you anymore!
2. To wear clothing that is appropriate for a specific occasion or outcome (as in the phrase "dress for success"). You're dressed for a trip to the mall, not a formal event. Please go change. I dressed for success in a suit and tie, but I don't think the recruiter was very impressed with me.
See also: dress

dress for success

To dress nicely, in the hope of inviting success in a particular area. I dressed for success in a suit and tie, but I don't think the recruiter was very impressed with me.
See also: dress, success

dress out

1. To put on the clothing or uniform that is suitable or required for an athletic activity. Let's set up camp and then get dressed out for our hike. Even though I wasn't playing that day, the coach still made me dress out for the game.
2. To cause, compel, or instruct someone to wear certain clothes for a particular purpose, situation, or activity. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "dress" and "out." The guards dressed me out in prison clothes and sent me off to my cell. She made sure to dress the children out in their best clothes for church.
3. To butcher or partially butcher the carcass of a fish, fowl, or other animal in order to preserve the meat for sale or consumption. A noun or pronoun can be used between "dress" and "out." I know it's unpleasant work, but if you don't dress it out as soon as it's been killed, the animal's meat will start to spoil very quickly. We sat on the shore dressing out the fish we'd caught that morning.
See also: dress, out

dress ship

To display the flags and ensign on a ship. We need to dress ship for the special occasion taking place tonight.
See also: dress, ship

dress up

1. To dress formally, perhaps more formally than usual. You need to dress up for this event tonight—a suit and tie would be appropriate. I dressed up for the birthday party and was embarrassed to find all of the other guests in shorts and T-shirts.
2. To wear attire that is appropriate for a specific occasion. It takes the kids forever to get dressed up for hockey practice, what with all the pads and layers of clothes they need to put on.
3. To improve or attempt to improve the appearance of something by decorating or embellishing it. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "dress" and "up." Don't worry, a fresh coat of paint will dress this room up. Don't try to dress it up, Mom—my crush completely rejected me.
4. To wear a costume. My daughter plans to dress up as Cinderella for Halloween.
5. To dress someone or something in a costume. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "dress" and "up." I have a friend who really enjoys dressing up her dachshund as different historical figures.
6. noun A children's activity that involves dressing up in costumes. In this usage, the phrase is typically hyphenated. Because my girls love to play dress-up, they regularly emerge from the playroom in feather boas and tiaras.
7. adjective Describing an occasion that requires one to dress in formal or fanciful attire. In this usage, the phrase is typically hyphenated. Tonight's dinner is a dress-up event, so be sure to wear a suit and tie. What costume do you think you'll wear to tonight's dress-up party?
See also: dress, up

dressing-down

A severe reprimand. The person who messed up this report is definitely going to get a dressing-down. Mom and Dad gave me a dressing-down when I came in after curfew yet again.

power dressing

A conservative style of women's dress common in the 1970s and '80s that aimed to project an air of authority and competency in the male-dominated business world. In the'80s, suit jackets with shoulder pads were a staple of power dressing.
See also: dressing, power

window dressing

1. Literally, 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. By extension, 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?
See also: dressing, window
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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 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.
See also: down, dress

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.
See also: dress, up

dressing-down

a harsh scolding. The boss gave the entire sales crew a powerful dressing-down for missing their forecast.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

dress down

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.
See also: down, dress

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
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.

dress down

v.
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.
See also: down, dress

dress up

v.
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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

dress ship

Nautical
To display the ensign, signal flags, and bunting on a ship.
See also: dress, ship
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

dressing down, a

A punishment, such as a scolding. In the fifteenth century, the verb “dress” was used alone in the sense of “to punish,” and “down” was added a couple of hundred years later. John Lescroart used it in his novel, The Hunt Club (2009), “The dressing down left Hunt literally shaking.” Without the article “a,” to dress down means to wear informal clothes. This usage dates from the mid-1900s.
See also: dressing
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Bennett-Marsden, "How to select a wound dressing," Clinical Pharmacist, vol.
Chapter Four 2011-2016 Global and Chinese Market of Foam Dressing
Silicone dressings have an impressive "natural" adhesive property which can make application, especially when wearing gloves, a challenge.
If salad is a regular fixture on your dinner plate, odds are you have at least a handful of old dressings cluttering up your fridge.
The conventional island dressing cost $2,852 per 100 hip patients and $1,487 per 100 knee patients.
The author retrospectively reviewed the records of 48 patients who had received the malleable ear dressing (Invotec International; Jacksonville, Fla.) following ear surgery.
Ease of dressing was negatively correlated with going to a movie (r = -.47), and attending spectator sports (r = -.37).
There are two basic types of diamond dressing methods.
Each treatment site 0 received approximately 2 ml of activated platelet gel and was then covered with OpSite dressing. The control sites were covered with OpSite dressing alone.
VEGETARIAN (NO EGGS/DAIRY): chunky cinnamon applesauce, cranberry walnut relish, fruit salad, steamed vegetables, zucchini marinara, apple cobbler, tossed salad (without croutons and dressing)
While this is only a hypothetical situation, many entrepreneurs commit similar fashion faux pas by dressing inappropriately for meeting, black-tie affairs or other business events.
Finding a low-fat dressing to perk up a bed greens or vegetables--without the aid of too much salt or gelatinous goo--isn't easy.
Versiva[R] dressing, ConvaTec's new advanced wound dressing, is designed to provide an optimal moisture balance that supports the wound-healing process in exuding wounds.
Many otolaryngologists are familiar with current ear dressing designs, including the Glasscock Ear Dressing.
But not dressing your age doesn't pay off for all celebs, as our gallery reveals...