Definition for dress down (2 of 2)
verb (used with object), dressed or drest, dress·ing.
- to prepare or bait (a fishhook) for use.
- to prepare (bait, especially an artificial fly) for use.
verb (used without object), dressed or drest, dress·ing.
- to reprimand; scold.
- to thrash; beat.
- to dress informally or less formally: to dress down for the shipboard luau.
- to put on one's best or fanciest clothing; dress relatively formally: They were dressed up for the Easter parade.
- to dress in costume or in another person's clothes: to dress up in Victorian clothing; to dress up as Marie Antoinette.
- to embellish or disguise, especially in order to make more appealing or acceptable: to dress up the facts with colorful details.
Origin of dress
Related formshalf-dressed, adjectiveout·dress, verb (used with object)
British Dictionary definitions for dress down (1 of 2)
British Dictionary definitions for dress down (2 of 2)
- to change one's clothes
- to wear formal or evening clothes
Word Origin for dress
Medicine definitions for dress down
Idioms and Phrases with dress down
Scold, reprimand, as in The sergeant will dress down the entire unit. In the 15th century the verb dress alone was used in the sense of “punish,” down being added several centuries later. It also gave rise to the noun dressing down for punishment with blows or words. For example, The teacher gave the girls a severe dressing down.
Wear informal clothes, as in It's best to dress down for a party like a barbecue. [Mid-1900s] For the antonym, see dress up.