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Related to dressing: salad dressing
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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

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 down

1. To severely reprimand one. The person being scolded can be stated 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 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

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


a harsh scolding. The boss gave the entire sales crew a powerful dressing-down for missing their forecast.

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

dress down

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

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

dress ship

To display the ensign, signal flags, and bunting on a ship.
See also: dress, ship
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
Of the 48 patients in the study group, 20 consecutive patients completed a five-item follow-up questionnaire regarding their experience with the dressing.
NON-VEGETARIAN: BBQ baked black beans (ham), Crispy Green Beans (bacon), instant stuffing (chicken), chicken gravy (chicken), Baja Glaze (chicken), Caesar dressing (fish, gelatin), light sour cream (gelatin), raspberry marble cheesecake (gelatin), cranberry walnut cheesecake (gelatin), Lime Parfait (gelatin)
However, their inherent drawbacks--longer cycle time and shorter life--have resulted in an increasing use of rotary diamond dress rolls for forming and dressing grinding wheels.
We've taken the liberty to use bottled dressing and prepared tortilla chips; the restaurant makes its own.
The control sites were covered with OpSite dressing alone.
But each tablespoon of regular dressing still deposits about 75 calories on your hips, waist, or whatever--extra calories that most of us could do without.
has announced that Contreet[R] Hydrocolloid, Non-Adhesive Foam, and Adhesive Foam Antimicrobial Barrier Dressings have been cleared by the U.
Doyle, MD, FAGS, the Doyle Ear Dressing from Boston Medical Products, was created with patient comfort and ease of use in mind.
LONDON -- A medical breakthrough in the form of a dressing with built-in pain medication was launched today at London's Royal College of Physicians.
VALENCIA - As sheriff's deputies search for a man suspected recently of videotaping under a girl's skirt at Abercrombie & Fitch, the Town Center Drive store has been inadvertently offering free peeks at customers in dressing rooms in the women's department.
Moist wound healing dressings require fewer dressing changes and, therefore, reduce the nursing time required for treatment.
CovaClear Ag(TM) is the only hydrated collagen dressing with antimicrobial silver available in the market.
If anyone has an excellent bottled green goddess dressing to suggest, send the name (and store where it can be purchased) along to us.