Definition of dress up in English:

dress up

See synonyms for dress up

Translate dress up into Spanish

phrasal verb

  • 1Dress in smart or formal clothes.

    ‘just wear whatever's comfortable—you don't need to dress up’
    • ‘I'm going at 2.30, which gives me much time to kill, and me all dressed up in smart clothes too.’
    • ‘Indian women seem to have it easy when it comes to dressing up for formal functions and special occasions.’
    • ‘Groups of girls dressed up in their best clothes and jewellery looked on approvingly at these displays of horsemanship.’
    • ‘When it came to the day we all got dressed up smart in our full uniform and just as it was time to leave our line manager pulled those of us attending aside.’
    • ‘She read about fancy balls where people dress up in their nicest clothes and dance.’
    • ‘However, they are very formal when they dress up for church services and important ceremonies.’
    • ‘They are essential for work or interviews when you need to dress up and look formal and professional.’
    • ‘We've gotten dressed up in itchy church clothes so we can be told to hate someone?’
    • ‘Young lads of about 15 or so, dressed up in their posiest clothes, and ultimately doing nothing.’
    • ‘People can take a picnic and either dress up and make it a smart occasion or come in jeans and a T-shirt.’
    dress smartly, dress formally, wear evening dress
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    1. 1.1Dress in a special costume for fun or as part of an entertainment.
      ‘he dressed up as a gorilla’
      • ‘At Halloween, the other kids would dress up in superhero costumes to go trick or treating.’
      • ‘This was the only blip in the whole day which had seen many locals dressing up in period costume, strolling around in the Summer heat.’
      • ‘Market traders and shop assistants add to the atmosphere by dressing up in period costumes.’
      • ‘The event attracted hundreds of men and women who enjoyed dressing up in costumes from the war.’
      • ‘It will see the visiting children dressed up in 1940s style clothes carrying gas mask boxes.’
      • ‘Staff at ASDA in Trowbridge will be dressing up in funky 70s clothing and holding a raffle of cuddly toys to help the cause.’
      • ‘Other ideas could see shopkeepers dress up in Victorian clothes for the day, on a similar style to Pickwick Night.’
      • ‘Why not also dress up in forties clothes to really get into the spirit.’
      • ‘She said his loft was packed with toys and with clothes for the girls to dress up in.’
      • ‘Her coat was too big, so it made her seem like a little girl dressing up in her mother's clothes.’
      disguise oneself, dress
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  • 2dress something up, dress up somethingPresent something in such a way that it appears better than it really is.

    ‘the company dressed up the figures a little’
    • ‘Dear reader, I ask you: does pulling out these facts and figures and dressing them up with rhetoric consciously influence your vote in the slightest?’
    • ‘However they choose to dress it up and whatever sort of compromise they want to present it as, the president's goal is still phase-out.’
    • ‘It's made up of all sorts of bits and pieces that no one would otherwise touch, but he's packaged it well and dressed it up with his trademark buffoonery.’
    • ‘But you can't sell a system of bureaucratic control in this country by calling it what it is; you have to dress it up in the rhetoric of representative government.’
    • ‘They'll dress it up nice and present it again, and everyone will carp and complain for the next four months.’
    • ‘You had a similar phenomenon in the financial markets, where you had a boom, where it wasn't a matter of what the earnings were, but how they could be dressed up.’
    • ‘Although most get-rich-quick schemes are as old as the hills they are dressed up with snazzy new titles that promise instant wealth.’
    • ‘But with her I knew I was getting to hear a ‘truer’ version whilst his version was dressed up with rather more male posturing.’
    • ‘That is why he sometimes gets dismayed when the privilege is abused and lies or half-truths are dressed up as news in certain elements of the media.’
    • ‘As regards the general issue of vigilantism, the Government's position is simple: there is no place in our society for vigilantism no matter how it is dressed up.’
    present, represent, portray, depict, characterize
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