The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Dress \Dress\ (dr[e^]s), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Dressed
(dr[e^]st) or Drest; p. pr. & vb. n. Dressing.] [OF.
drecier to make straight, raise, set up, prepare, arrange, F.
dresser, (assumed) LL. directiare, fr. L. dirigere, directum,
to direct; dis- + regere to rule. See Right, and cf.
Address, Adroit, Direct, Dirge.]
1. To direct; to put right or straight; to regulate; to
At all times thou shalt bless God and pray Him to
dress thy ways. --Chaucer.
Note: Dress is used reflexively in Old English, in sense of
"to direct one's step; to address one's self."
To Grisild again will I me dresse. --Chaucer.
2. (Mil.) To arrange in exact continuity of line, as
soldiers; commonly to adjust to a straight line and at
proper distance; to align; as, to dress the ranks.
3. (Med.) To treat methodically with remedies, bandages, or
curative appliances, as a sore, an ulcer, a wound, or a
wounded or diseased part.
4. To adjust; to put in good order; to arrange; specifically:
(a) To prepare for use; to fit for any use; to render
suitable for an intended purpose; to get ready; as, to
dress a slain animal; to dress meat; to dress leather
or cloth; to dress or trim a lamp; to dress a garden;
to dress a horse, by currying and rubbing; to dress
grain, by cleansing it; in mining and metallurgy, to
dress ores, by sorting and separating them.
And the Lord God took the man, and put him into
the garden of Eden to dress it. --Gen. ii. 15.
When he dresseth the lamps he shall burn
incense. --Ex. xxx. 7.
Three hundred horses . . . smoothly dressed.
Dressing their hair with the white sea flower.
If he felt obliged to expostulate, he might have
dressed his censures in a kinder form.
(b) To cut to proper dimensions, or give proper shape to,
as to a tool by hammering; also, to smooth or finish.
(c) To put in proper condition by appareling, as the body;
to put clothes upon; to apparel; to invest with
garments or rich decorations; to clothe; to deck.
Dressed myself in such humility. -- Shak.
Prove that ever Idress myself handsome till thy
(d) To break and train for use, as a horse or other
To dress up or To dress out, to dress elaborately,
artificially, or pompously. "You see very often a king of
England or France dressed up like a Julius C[ae]sar."
To dress a ship (Naut.), to ornament her by hoisting the
national colors at the peak and mastheads, and setting the
jack forward; when dressed full, the signal flags and
pennants are added. --Ham. Nav. Encyc.
Syn: To attire; apparel; clothe; accouter; array; robe; rig;
trim; deck; adorn; embellish.