Definitions

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  • n. A complete mess.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a poor job; a mess

Etymologies

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  • One's finest clothing; Sunday best.

    Eric Partridge is succinct in his description: “Done up like a dog's dinner means all dressed up.�?

    Alternatively, it seems to be synonymous with dog's breakfast, that is, a mess. Despite the well-deserved deference that is typically paid to Partridge in the lexicographic community, it is my guess that the meaning he ascribes to this phrase is out-of-date. Search as I might, I could not find a recent instance of this usage in a U.S. source.

    July 11, 2009