from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb Present participle of dress down.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a severe scolding


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word dressing down.


    Sorry, no example sentences found.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • From a nautical term. Worn sails were often "dressed down"--treated with oil or wax--to renew their effectiveness. The term eventually came to refer to the reprimand or scolding of an officer or sailor.

    December 11, 2007

  • ... presumably to renew his effectiveness...

    December 11, 2007

  • Yep. That oughta show him!

    December 11, 2007