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

First recorded in 1780–90 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for window-dressing

Contemporary Examples of window-dressing

  • This time the crime story is just window-dressing for a meditation on a father-son relationship.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Michael Connelly's Book Picks

    Michael Connelly

    June 2, 2009

Historical Examples of window-dressing

  • 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

  • The event in the airport at Salonika and the attack on the convoy were window-dressing.

    The Invaders

    William Fitzgerald Jenkins

  • 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