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[dres-ee] /ˈdrɛs i/
adjective, dressier, dressiest.
appropriate to somewhat formal occasions:
an outfit that's a little too dressy for office wear.
showy in dress; stylish:
a rather dressy reception.
Origin of dressy
First recorded in 1760-70; dress + -y1
Related forms
dressily, adverb
dressiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dressy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "He always was a dressy old scoundrel," remarked the Tuttle person.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • She was a dressy young person, whose father kept a "sample-room."

    Peak and Prairie Anna Fuller
  • The latter's genial nature and dressy appearance pleased him.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • The dressy manager was shaken by the hand three times in as many minutes.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • For day receptions the dress may be more elaborate and the bonnet more "dressy."

    Social Life

    Maud C. Cooke
  • His shirts, collars, and neckties were clean and always “dressy.”

    What's-His-Name George Barr McCutcheon
  • Since shes been going with Gladys, she feels as if she had to be dressy.

    Girls of Highland Hall Carolyn Watson Rankin
  • So we may picture them as clad in that dressy yet serviceable garb.

  • I kinder set a car off, and make 'em look respectable and dressy.

    Sweet Cicely Josiah Allen's Wife: Marietta Holley
British Dictionary definitions for dressy


adjective dressier, dressiest
(of clothes) elegant
(of persons) dressing stylishly
Derived Forms
dressily, adverb
dressiness, noun
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
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Word Origin and History for dressy

1760s, from dress (v.) + -y (2).

"For as her natural face decays, her skill improves in making the artificial one. Well, nothing diverts me more than one of those fine, old, dressy things, who thinks to conceal her age by everywhere exposing her person; sticking herself up in the front of a side-box; trailing through a minuet at Almack's; and then, in the public gardens looking, for all the world, like one of the painted ruins of the place." [Goldsmith, "The Good Natured Man," 1768].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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