- a severe reprimand; scolding.
Origin of dressing-down
1860–65, Americanism; noun use (with -ing1) of verb phrase dress down
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for dressing-down
"Deeper'n the Whale-deep," said Dan, with a wink, as he set the gear for dressing-down."Captains Courageous"
That fellow I gave a dressing-down about India to up at the Pratts' there.A Crooked Mile
She must doff all gloves and give the little Doctor the dressing-down of his life.Queed
Henry Sydnor Harrison
And because he's given the priest a dressing-down, and broken an image worth a nickel, must he be shut up in a mad-house?The Quest
Frederik van Eeden
Coming out again, the grim and forbidding doctor ordered Jimmie into his car, and oh, what a dressing-down he did give him!Jimmie Higgins
- informal a severe scolding or thrashing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012