Hypertext Webster Gateway: "dress"

From Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary (easton)

(1.) Materials used. The earliest and simplest an apron of
fig-leaves sewed together (Gen. 3:7); then skins of animals
(3:21). Elijah's dress was probably the skin of a sheep (2 Kings
1:8). The Hebrews were early acquainted with the art of weaving
hair into cloth (Ex. 26:7; 35:6), which formed the sackcloth of
mourners. This was the material of John the Baptist's robe
(Matt. 3:4). Wool was also woven into garments (Lev. 13:47;
Deut. 22:11; Ezek. 34:3; Job 31:20; Prov. 27:26). The Israelites
probably learned the art of weaving linen when they were in
Egypt (1 Chr. 4:21). Fine linen was used in the vestments of the
high priest (Ex. 28:5), as well as by the rich (Gen. 41:42;
Prov. 31:22; Luke 16:19). The use of mixed material, as wool and
flax, was forbidden (Lev. 19:19; Deut. 22:11).

(2.) Colour. The prevailing colour was the natural white of
the material used, which was sometimes rendered purer by the
fuller's art (Ps. 104:1, 2; Isa. 63:3; Mark 9:3). The Hebrews
were acquainted with the art of dyeing (Gen. 37:3, 23). Various
modes of ornamentation were adopted in the process of weaving
(Ex. 28:6; 26:1, 31; 35:25), and by needle-work (Judg. 5:30; Ps.
45:13). Dyed robes were imported from foreign countries,
particularly from Phoenicia (Zeph. 1:8). Purple and scarlet
robes were the marks of the wealthy (Luke 16:19; 2 Sam. 1:24).

(3.) Form. The robes of men and women were not very much
different in form from each other.

(a) The "coat" (kethoneth), of wool, cotton, or linen, was
worn by both sexes. It was a closely-fitting garment, resembling
in use and form our shirt (John 19:23). It was kept close to the
body by a girdle (John 21:7). A person wearing this "coat" alone
was described as naked (1 Sam. 19:24; Isa. 20:2; 2 Kings 6:30;
John 21:7); deprived of it he would be absolutely naked.

(b) A linen cloth or wrapper (sadin) of fine linen, used
somewhat as a night-shirt (Mark 14:51). It is mentioned in Judg.
14:12, 13, and rendered there "sheets."

(c) An upper tunic (meil), longer than the "coat" (1 Sam.
2:19; 24:4; 28:14). In 1 Sam. 28:14 it is the mantle in which
Samuel was enveloped; in 1 Sam. 24:4 it is the "robe" under
which Saul slept. The disciples were forbidden to wear two
"coats" (Matt. 10:10; Luke 9:3).

(d) The usual outer garment consisted of a piece of woollen
cloth like a Scotch plaid, either wrapped round the body or
thrown over the shoulders like a shawl, with the ends hanging
down in front, or it might be thrown over the head so as to
conceal the face (2 Sam. 15:30; Esther 6:12). It was confined to
the waist by a girdle, and the fold formed by the overlapping of
the robe served as a pocket (2 Kings 4:39; Ps. 79:12; Hag. 2:12;
Prov. 17:23; 21:14).

Female dress. The "coat" was common to both sexes (Cant. 5:3).
But peculiar to females were (1) the "veil" or "wimple," a kind
of shawl (Ruth 3:15; rendered "mantle," R.V., Isa. 3:22); (2)
the "mantle," also a species of shawl (Isa. 3:22); (3) a "veil,"
probably a light summer dress (Gen. 24:65); (4) a "stomacher," a
holiday dress (Isa. 3:24). The outer garment terminated in an
ample fringe or border, which concealed the feet (Isa. 47:2;
Jer. 13:22).

The dress of the Persians is described in Dan. 3:21.

The reference to the art of sewing are few, inasmuch as the
garments generally came forth from the loom ready for being
worn, and all that was required in the making of clothes
devolved on the women of a family (Prov. 31:22; Acts 9:39).

Extravagance in dress is referred to in Jer. 4:30; Ezek.
16:10; Zeph. 1:8 (R.V., "foreign apparel"); 1 Tim. 2:9; 1 Pet.
3:3. Rending the robes was expressive of grief (Gen. 37:29, 34),
fear (1 Kings 21:27), indignation (2 Kings 5:7), or despair
(Judg. 11:35; Esther 4:1).

Shaking the garments, or shaking the dust from off them, was a
sign of renunciation (Acts 18:6); wrapping them round the head,
of awe (1 Kings 19:13) or grief (2 Sam. 15:30; casting them off,
of excitement (Acts 22:23); laying hold of them, of supplication
(1 Sam. 15:27). In the case of travelling, the outer garments
were girded up (1 Kings 18:46). They were thrown aside also when
they would impede action (Mark 10:50; John 13:4; Acts 7:58).

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Dress \Dress\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Dressed}or {Drest}; p. pr. &
vb. n. {Dressing}.] [OF. drecier to make straight, raise, set
up, prepare, arrange, F. dresser. (assumed) LL. directiare,
fr. L. dirigere, directum, to direct; dis- + regere to rule.
See {Right}, and cf. {Address}, {Adroit}, {Direct}, {Dirge}.]
1. To direct; to put right or straight; to regulate; to
order. [Obs.]

At all times thou shalt bless God and pray Him to
dress thy ways. --Chaucer.

Note: Dress is used reflexively in Old English, in sense of
``to direct one's step; to address one's self.''

To Grisild again will I me dresse. --Chaucer.

2. (Mil.) To arrange in exact continuity of line, as
soldiers; commonly to adjust to a straight line and at
proper distance; to align; as, to dress the ranks.

3. (Med.) To treat methodically with remedies, bandages, or
curative appliances, as a sore, an ulcer, a wound, or a
wounded or diseased part.

4. To adjust; to put in good order; to arrange; specifically:
(a) To prepare for use; to fit for any use; to render
suitable for an intended purpose; to get ready; as, to
dress a slain animal; to dress meat; to dress leather
or cloth; to dress or trim a lamp; to dress a garden;
to dress a horse, by currying and rubbing; to dress
grain, by cleansing it; in mining and metallurgy, to
dress ores, by sorting and separating them.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Dress \Dress\, n.
1. That which is used as the covering or ornament of the
body; clothes; garments; habit; apparel. ``In your
soldier's dress.'' --Shak.

2. A lady's gown; as, silk or a velvet dress.

3. Attention to apparel, or skill in adjusting it.

Men of pleasure, dress, and gallantry. -- Pope.

4. (Milling) The system of furrows on the face of a
millstone. --Knight.

{Dress circle}. See under {Circle}.

{Dress parade} (Mil.), a parade in full uniform for review.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Dress \Dress\, v. i.
1. (Mil.) To arrange one's self in due position in a line of
soldiers; -- the word of command to form alignment in
ranks; as, Right, dress!

2. To clothe or apparel one's self; to put on one's garments;
to pay particular regard to dress; as, to dress quickly.
``To dress for a ball.'' --Latham.

To flaunt, to dress, to dance, to thrum. --Tennyson

{To dress to the right}, {To dress to the left}, {To dress on
the center} (Mil.), to form alignment with reference to the
soldier on the extreme right, or in the center, of the
rank, who serves as a guide.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: suitable for formal occasions; "formal wear"; "a full-dress
uniform"; "dress shoes" [syn: {full-dress}]
2: (of an occasion) requiring formal clothes; "a dress dinner";
"a full-dress ceremony" [syn: {full-dress}]
n 1: a one-piece garment for a woman; has skirt and bodice [syn:
2: clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion
[syn: {attire}, {garb}]
v 1: put on clothes; "we had to dress quickly"; "dress the
patient"; "Can the child dress by herself?" [syn: {get
dressed}] [ant: {undress}]
2: provide with clothes or put clothes on; "Parents must feed
and dress their child" [syn: {clothe}, {enclothe}, {garb},
{raiment}, {tog}, {garment}, {habilitate}, {fit out}, {apparel}]
[ant: {undress}]
3: put a finish on; "dress the surface smooth"
4: dress in a certain manner; "She dresses in the latest Paris
fashion": "he dressed up in a suit and tie" [syn: {dress
5: dress or groom with elaborate care; "She likes to dress when
going to the opera" [syn: {preen}, {primp}, {plume}]
6: kill and prepare for market or consumption; "dress a turkey"
[syn: {dress out}]
7: arrange in ranks; "dress troops" [syn: {line up}]
8: decorate (food), as with parsley or other ornamental foods
[syn: {trim}, {garnish}]
9: provide with decoration; "dress the windows" [syn: {decorate}]
10: put a dressing on; "dress the salads"
11: cultivate, tend, and cut back the growth of "dress the
plants in the garden" [syn: {snip}, {clip}, {crop}, {trim},
{lop}, {prune}, {cut back}]
12: convert into leather; "dress the tanned skins"
13: apply a bandage or medication to; "dress the victim's
14: give a neat appearance to; "groom the dogs"; "dress the
horses" [syn: {groom}, {curry}]
15: arrange attractively; "dress my hair for the wedding" [syn:
{arrange}, {set}, {do}, {coif}, {coiffe}, {coiffure}]

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