Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Did you ever hear what your Uncle Tom did when he was a little fellow in dresses?

Do you know, S. Annie, these dresses of your'n will cost a sight?

They look up some dresses, and properties, and have a piece written to fit 'em.

She got up from the bed and went to the door of the closet where she kept her dresses.

The diplomatic body wore the dresses of their respective Courts.

I cannot any longer endure the glare of these lamps and dresses!

You don't think me nice enough, do you, now that you've made me pawn all my dresses?

The ladies examined their dresses carefully to see if they had been stained.

It's a shame to allow women to rustle their dresses so near the holy relics.'

Ladies in beautiful spring dresses were following the vergers up the aisles.


early 14c., "make straight; direct, guide, control, prepare for cooking," from Old French dresser, drecier "raise (oneself), address, prepare, lift, raise, hoist, set up, arrange, set (a table), serve (food), straighten, put right, direct," from Vulgar Latin *directiare, from Latin directus "direct, straight" (see direct (v.)).

Sense of "decorate, adorn" is late 14c., as is that of "put on clothing." Original sense survives in military meaning "align columns of troops." Dress up "attire elaborately" is from 1670s; dressing down "wearing clothes less formal than expected" is from 1960. To dress (someone) down (1769) is ironical. Related: Dressed; dressing.