Definition for DRESS

DRESS, v.t. [pret and pp. dressed or drest. Fr. dresser, to make straight, to set up, to erect; Arm. dreçza, dreçzein; It. rizzare, to erect, to make straight; dirizzare, to direct, to address; Sp. enderezar, Port. endereçar, to direct; Norm. adrescer, to redress. The primary sense is, to make straight, to strain or stretch to straightness. The It. rizzare is supposed to be formed from ritto, straight, upright, L. erectus, rectus, from erigo, rego.]

  1. To make straight or a straight line; to adjust to a right line. We have the primary sense in the military phrase, dress your ranks. Hence the sense, to put in order.
  2. To adjust; to put in good order; as, to dress the beds of a garden. Sometimes to till or cultivate. – Gen. ii. Deut. xxviii.
  3. To put in good order, as a wounded limb; to cleanse a wound, and to apply medicaments. The surgeon dresses the limb or the wound.
  4. To prepare, in a general sense; to put in the condition desired; to make suitable or fit; as, to dress meat; to dress leather or cloth; to dress a lamp: but we, in the latter case, generally use trim. To dress hemp or flax, is to break and clean it.
  5. To curry, rub and comb; as, to dress a horse: or to break or tame and prepare for service, as used by Dryden; but this is unusual.
  6. To put the body in order, or in a suitable condition; to put on clothes; as, he dressed himself for breakfast.
  7. To put on rich garments; to adorn; to deck; to embellish; as, the lady dressed herself for a ball. To dress up, is to clothe pompously or elegantly; as, to dress up with tinsel. The sense of dress depends on its application. To dress the body, to dress meat, and to dress leather, are very different senses, but all uniting in the sense of preparing or fitting for use.

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