verb (used with object), gus·sied, gus·sy·ing.

to enhance the attractiveness of in a gimmicky, showy manner (usually followed by up): a room gussied up with mirrors and lights.

verb (used without object), gus·sied, gus·sy·ing.

to dress in one's best clothes (usually followed by up): to gussy up for the ball.

Origin of gussy

First recorded in 1935–40; of obscure origin


or Gus·sy



a female given name, form of Augusta. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for gussy

Contemporary Examples of gussy

  • But Spode is a character from pure planet Wodehouse—just as much as Aunt Agatha or Gussy Fink-Nottle.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Can Fascism be Funny?

    Douglas Murray

    September 28, 2010

Historical Examples of gussy

Word Origin and History for gussy

"to dress up or decorate in a showy way," 1952, American English slang, apparently from Gussy (1940), schoolyard slang name for an overly dressed person, perhaps related to gussie (1901) "effeminate man," and somehow connected to the nickname for Augusta and Augustus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper