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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I kinder set a car off, and make 'em look respectable and dressy.

    Sweet Cicely Josiah Allen's Wife: Marietta Holley
  • "He always was a dressy old scoundrel," remarked the Tuttle person.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • Emily was dressy, wore a false front, and always took precedence of her sister, who was small and mousy in demeanour.

    Betty Trevor Mrs. G. de Horne Vaizey
  • She was a dressy young person, whose father kept a "sample-room."

    Peak and Prairie Anna Fuller
  • Yes; but Im going to wear this thick wrapper; its not handsome or dressy, but the comfort supersedes the outward appearance.

  • For day receptions the dress may be more elaborate and the bonnet more "dressy."

    Social Life Maud C. Cooke
  • So he told 'em he always loved to wear summer shawls; he thought it made a man look so dressy.

  • They were good and answered the purpose but a new fangled broom made of broom straw seemed so dressy.

  • The dressy manager was shaken by the hand three times in as many minutes.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
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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