adjective, dress·i·er, dress·i·est.

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 formsdress·i·ly, adverbdress·i·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for dressy

stylish, chic, classy, elegant, elaborate, fancy, ornate, ritzy, smart

Examples from the Web for dressy

Contemporary Examples of dressy

Historical Examples of dressy

  • "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

British Dictionary definitions for dressy


adjective dressier or dressiest

(of clothes) elegant
(of persons) dressing stylishly
Derived Formsdressily, adverbdressiness, 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

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