KJV Dictionary Definition: dress


DRESS, v.t. pret. and pp. dressed or drest. L.

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. Genesis 2. Deuteronomy 28.

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.

DRESS, v.i.

1. To arrange in a line; as, look to the right and dress.

2. To pay particular regard to dress or raiment.


1. That which is used as the covering or ornament of the body; clothes; garments; habit; as, the dress of a lady is modest and becoming; a gaudy dress is evidence of a false taste.

2. A suit of clothes; as, the lady has purchased an elegant dress.

3. Splendid clothes; habit of ceremony; as a full dress.

4. Skill in adjusting dress, or the practice of wearing elegant clothing; as men of dress.


DRESSED, pp. Adjusted; made straight; put in order; prepared; trimmed; tilled; clothed; adorned; attired.


DRESSING, ppr. Adjusting to a line; putting in order; preparing; clothing; embellishing; cultivating.


1. Raiment; attire.

2. That which is used as an application to a wound or sore.

3. That which is used in preparing land for a drop; manure spread over land. When it remains on the surface, it is called a top-dressing.

4. In popular language, correction; a flogging, or beating.