from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To put clothes on; clothe.
  • transitive v. To furnish with clothing.
  • transitive v. To decorate or adorn: dress a Christmas tree.
  • transitive v. To garnish: dressed the side dish with parsley.
  • transitive v. To arrange a display in: dress a store window.
  • transitive v. To arrange (troops) in ranks; align.
  • transitive v. To apply medication, bandages, or other therapeutic materials to (a wound).
  • transitive v. To arrange and groom (the hair), as by styling, combing, or washing.
  • transitive v. To groom (an animal); curry.
  • transitive v. To cultivate (land or plants).
  • transitive v. To clean (fish or fowl) for cooking or sale.
  • transitive v. To put a finish on (stone or wood, for example).
  • transitive v. To tan or prepare (a hide) in leather-making.
  • intransitive v. To put on clothes.
  • intransitive v. To wear clothes of a certain kind or style: dresses casually.
  • intransitive v. To wear formal clothes: dress for dinner.
  • intransitive v. To get into proper alignment with others: The troops dressed on the squad leader.
  • n. Clothing; apparel.
  • n. A style of clothing: folk dancers in peasant dress.
  • n. A one-piece outer garment for women or girls.
  • n. Outer covering or appearance; guise: an ancient ritual in modern dress.
  • adj. Suitable for formal occasions: dress shoes.
  • adj. Requiring formal clothes: a dress dinner.
  • dress down To scold; reprimand: I was dressed down by the teacher for lateness.
  • dress down To wear informal clothes, befitting an occasion or location: I dressed down for such a casual occasion.
  • dress up To wear formal or fancy clothes: They dressed up and went to the prom.
  • idiom dress ship Nautical To display the ensign, signal flags, and bunting on a ship.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An item of clothing (usually worn by a woman or young girl) which covers the upper part of the body as well as below the waist.
  • n. Apparel, clothing.
  • n. The system of furrows on the face of a millstone.
  • v. To prepare the surface of (a material; usually stone or lumber).

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which is used as the covering or ornament of the body; clothes; garments; habit; apparel.
  • n. A lady's gown.
  • n. Attention to apparel, or skill in adjusting it.
  • n. The system of furrows on the face of a millstone.
  • intransitive v. To arrange one's self in due position in a line of soldiers; -- the word of command to form alignment in ranks
  • intransitive v. To clothe or apparel one's self; to put on one's garments; to pay particular regard to dress.
  • transitive v. To direct; to put right or straight; to regulate; to order.
  • transitive v. To arrange in exact continuity of line, as soldiers; commonly to adjust to a straight line and at proper distance; to align.
  • transitive v. To treat methodically with remedies, bandages, or curative appliances, as a sore, an ulcer, a wound, or a wounded or diseased part.
  • transitive v. To adjust; to put in good order; to arrange; specifically: (a) To prepare for use; to fit for any use; to render suitable for an intended purpose; to get ready
  • transitive v. To cut to proper dimensions, or give proper shape to, as to a tool by hammering; also, to smooth or finish.
  • transitive v. To put in proper condition by appareling, as the body; to put clothes upon; to apparel; to invest with garments or rich decorations; to clothe; to deck.
  • transitive v. To break and train for use, as a horse or other animal.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To put or make straight; adjust to a right line: as (in military use), to dress ranks.
  • To regulate; direct; set right; keep in the right course.
  • To adjust; fasten; fix.
  • To address; direct: as, to dress words to a person; hence, with reflexive pronoun, to direct or turn one's course, efforts, or attention; prepare or apply one's self to do something; repair; betake one's self: as, they dressed themselves to the dance.
  • To prepare or make ready; treat in some particular way, and thus fit for some special use or purpose
  • To prepare for use as food, by cooking or by the addition of suitable condiments, etc.: as, to dress meat; to dress a salad.
  • To make fit for the purpose intended, by some suitable process: as, to dress beef for the market; to dress skins; to dress flax or hemp.
  • To cut or reduce to the proper shape or dimensions, or evenness of surface, as by planing, chiseling, tooling, etc.; trim; finish off; put the finishing touches to: as, to dress timber; to dress a millstone
  • In mining and metallurgy, to sort or fit for smelting by separating and removing the non-metalliferous veinstone: as, to dress ores.
  • To comb and do up: as, to dress the hair.
  • To curry and rub down: as, to dress a horse.
  • To treat with remedies or curative appliances: as, to dress a wound.
  • To array; equip; rig out: as, to dress a ship with flags and pendants.
  • To attire; put clothes upon; apparel; adorn or deck with suitable clothes or raiment: as, he dressed himself hastily; to dress one's self for dinner; the maid dressed her mistress for a ball.
  • To direct toward; reach toward; reach; offer.
  • To prepare for action.
  • Synonyms To aline. To accoutre, array, rig. To attire, apparel, clothe, embellish.
  • To direct one's course; go.
  • To come into line or proper alinement: as (in military use), to dress up in the center.
  • To clothe one's self; put on one's usual garments, or such garments as are required for a particular occasion: as, to dress for the day; to dress for dinner, or for a ball.
  • To give orders or directions.
  • To get on or up; rise.
  • In veg. pathol., to treat (grain and other seed) with hot water, formaldehyde solution, or a similar fungicide, for the purpose of destroying the spores of smut and other plant-diseases.
  • In milling, to clean and refine (flour); free (flour) from bran by passing it through bolters. See milling.
  • n. A garment, or the assemblage of garments, used as a covering for the body or for its adornment; clothes; apparel: as, to spend a good deal of money on dress.
  • n. Specifically
  • n. The gown or robe worn by women, consisting of a skirt and a waist, either made separately or in one garment.
  • n. Outward adornment; elegant clothing, or skill in selecting, combining, and adjusting articles of clothing: as, a love of dress; a man of dress.
  • n. In ornithology, plumage: as, spring or autumn dress; the breeding dress.
  • n. External finish: used especially of the arrangement of the furrows on a millstone.
  • n. Size; dressing.
  • n. Synonyms Clothing, raiment, habiliments, accoutrements, vestments, habit, attire, array, garb, costume, suit.
  • n. In printing, a set of types with their appurtenances; also, their arrangement and their general appearance in print.

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

  • v. decorate (food), as with parsley or other ornamental foods
  • v. arrange in ranks
  • v. give a neat appearance to
  • v. apply a bandage or medication to
  • v. put a finish on
  • v. put on clothes
  • v. kill and prepare for market or consumption
  • adj. suitable for formal occasions
  • v. put a dressing on
  • n. clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion
  • n. a one-piece garment for a woman; has skirt and bodice
  • v. dress or groom with elaborate care
  • v. cut down rough-hewn (lumber) to standard thickness and width
  • v. cultivate, tend, and cut back the growth of
  • n. clothing in general
  • v. dress in a certain manner
  • v. convert into leather
  • v. arrange attractively
  • v. provide with decoration
  • v. provide with clothes or put clothes on
  • adj. (of an occasion) requiring formal clothes


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English dressen, to arrange, put on clothing, from Old French drecier, to arrange, from Vulgar Latin *dīrēctiāre, from Latin dīrēctus, past participle of dīrigere, to direct; see direct.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English, from Old French dresser, drescer, drecier ("to erect, set up, arrange, dress"), from Medieval Latin * directiare, an assumed frequentive, from Latin directus (" straight, direct"), perfect passive participle of dīrigō ("straighten, direct"), from dis- ("asunder, in pieces, apart, in two") + regō ("make straight, rule").



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