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[dres-ee] /ˈdrɛs i/
adjective, dressier, dressiest.
appropriate to somewhat formal occasions:
an outfit that's a little too dressy for office wear.
showy in dress; stylish:
a rather dressy reception.
Origin of dressy
1760-70; dress + -y1
Related forms
dressily, adverb
dressiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for dressy
  • Think casual but elegant in the daytime, a bit more dressy for dinner.
  • The dress code at this elegant, upscale restaurant is business casual to dressy.
  • Pack a dressy coat and tights or other warm undergarments in case the weather turns cold on formal night.
  • Pack one or two formal outfits and a dressy casual outfit for your time on the ship.
  • Indians, ever a dressy lot, are buying more clothes as they get richer.
  • Bringing the world to you but not you to the world, cyberspace is not a dressy place.
  • For thoroughly dressy nights, there's an outfit of forest-green velveteen.
  • The effect is deliberately theatrical, dressy, and provocative.
  • The bias cut with elastic waist is comfortable enough to sightsee in all day, but dressy enough for dinner in town.
  • And they come across as a bit more dressy too, even tho they are durable outdoors shorts.
British Dictionary definitions for dressy


adjective dressier, dressiest
(of clothes) elegant
(of persons) dressing stylishly
Derived Forms
dressily, adverb
dressiness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dressy

1760s, from dress (v.) + -y (2).

"For as her natural face decays, her skill improves in making the artificial one. Well, nothing diverts me more than one of those fine, old, dressy things, who thinks to conceal her age by everywhere exposing her person; sticking herself up in the front of a side-box; trailing through a minuet at Almack's; and then, in the public gardens looking, for all the world, like one of the painted ruins of the place." [Goldsmith, "The Good Natured Man," 1768].

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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