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window dressing

the art, act, or technique of trimming the display windows of a store.
misrepresentation of something, so as to give a favorable impression:
The company's list of assets included a great deal of window dressing.
Origin of window dressing
1780-90 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for window-dressing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The event in the airport at Salonika and the attack on the convoy were window-dressing.

    The Invaders William Fitzgerald Jenkins
  • I realize that the question was window-dressing, but my answer is quite serious.

    The Syndic C.M. Kornbluth
  • On window-dressing days he was up and down the street half the morning.

    Mrs. Thompson William Babington Maxwell
  • It may be part of our commercial gift for window-dressing, for putting up a good front.

  • Then they turned to the shop windows, and considered the window-dressing art as displayed by these Brighton tradesmen.

    Mrs. Thompson William Babington Maxwell
British Dictionary definitions for window-dressing


the ornamentation of shop windows, designed to attract customers
the pleasant, showy, or false aspect of an idea, policy, etc, which is stressed to conceal the real or unpleasant nature; façade
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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