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Dress parade
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dress rehearsal
dress sense
dress shield

Dress definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

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. Deutoronomy 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.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: suitable for formal occasions; "formal wear"; "a full- dress uniform"; "dress shoes" [syn: full-dress, dress]
2: (of an occasion) requiring formal clothes; "a dress dinner"; "a full-dress ceremony" [syn: dress, full-dress] n
1: a one-piece garment for a woman; has skirt and bodice [syn: dress, frock]
2: clothing of a distinctive style or for a particular occasion; "formal attire"; "battle dress" [syn: attire, garb, dress]
3: clothing in general; "she was refined in her choice of apparel"; "he always bought his clothes at the same store"; "fastidious about his dress" [syn: apparel, wearing apparel, dress, clothes] v
1: put on clothes; "we had to dress quickly"; "dress the patient"; "Can the child dress by herself?" [syn: dress, get dressed] [ant: discase, disrobe, peel, strip, strip down, uncase, unclothe, undress]
2: provide with clothes or put clothes on; "Parents must feed and dress their child" [syn: dress, clothe, enclothe, garb, raiment, tog, garment, habilitate, fit out, apparel] [ant: discase, disrobe, peel, strip, strip down, uncase, unclothe, 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, dress up]
5: dress or groom with elaborate care; "She likes to dress when going to the opera" [syn: preen, primp, plume, dress]
6: kill and prepare for market or consumption; "dress a turkey" [syn: dress, dress out]
7: arrange in ranks; "dress troops" [syn: dress, line up]
8: decorate (food), as with parsley or other ornamental foods [syn: trim, garnish, dress]
9: provide with decoration; "dress the windows" [syn: dress, 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, dress, prune, cut back]
12: cut down rough-hewn (lumber) to standard thickness and width
13: convert into leather; "dress the tanned skins"
14: apply a bandage or medication to; "dress the victim's wounds"
15: give a neat appearance to; "groom the dogs"; "dress the horses" [syn: dress, groom, curry]
16: arrange attractively; "dress my hair for the wedding" [syn: dress, arrange, set, do, coif, coiffe, coiffure]

Merriam Webster's

I. verb Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French drescer, dresser to direct, put right, Vulgar Latin *directiare, from Latin directus direct, past participle of dirigere to direct, from dis- + regere to lead straight more at right Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. a. to make or set straight b. to arrange (as troops) in a straight line and at proper intervals 2. to prepare for use or service; specifically to prepare for cooking or for the table <dress a salad> 3. to add decorative details or accessories to ; embellish 4. a. to put clothes on <dress a child> b. to provide with clothing <feed and dress a growing family> 5. archaic dress down 6. a. to apply dressings or medicaments to <dress a wound> b. (1) to arrange (as the hair) by combing, brushing, or curling (2) to groom and curry (an animal) c. to kill and prepare for market or for consumption often used with out d. cultivate, tend; especially to apply manure or fertilizer to <dress a field> e. to put through a finishing process; especially to trim and smooth the surface of (as lumber or stone) intransitive verb 1. a. to put on clothing b. to put on or wear formal, elaborate, or fancy clothes <dress for dinner> 2. of a food animal to weigh after being dressed often used with out 3. to align oneself with the next soldier in a line to make the line straight II. noun Date: 1606 1. apparel, clothing 2. an outer garment (as for a woman or girl) usually consisting of a one-piece bodice and skirt 3. covering, adornment, or appearance appropriate or peculiar to a particular time 4. a particular form of presentation ; guise III. adjective Date: 1767 1. suitable for a formal occasion <dress clothes> <dress shoes> 2. requiring or permitting formal dress <a dress affair> 3. relating to or used for a dress <dress material>

Oxford Reference Dictionary

v. & n. --v. 1 a tr. clothe; array (dressed in rags; dressed her quickly). b intr. wear clothes of a specified kind or in a specified way (dresses well). 2 intr. a put on clothes. b put on formal or evening clothes, esp. for dinner. 3 tr. decorate or adorn. 4 tr. Med. a treat (a wound) with ointment etc. b apply a dressing to (a wound). 5 tr. trim, comb, brush, or smooth (the hair). 6 tr. a clean and prepare (poultry, a crab, etc.) for cooking or eating. b add a dressing to (a salad etc.). 7 tr. apply manure etc. to a field, garden, etc. 8 tr. finish the surface of (fabric, building-stone, etc.). 9 tr. groom (a horse). 10 tr. curry (leather etc.). 11 Mil. a tr. correct the alignment of (troops etc.). b intr. (of troops) come into alignment. 12 tr. make (an artificial fly) for use in fishing. --n. 1 a one-piece woman's garment consisting of a bodice and skirt. 2 clothing, esp. a whole outfit etc. (fussy about his dress; wore the dress of a highlander). 3 formal or ceremonial costume (evening dress; morning dress). 4 an external covering; the outward form (birds in their winter dress). Phrases and idioms: dress circle the first gallery in a theatre, in which evening dress was formerly required. dress coat a man's swallow-tailed evening coat. dress down colloq. reprimand or scold. dress length a piece of material sufficient to make a dress. dress out attire conspicuously. dress parade 1 Mil. a military parade in full dress uniform. 2 a display of clothes worn by models. dress rehearsal the final rehearsal of a play etc., wearing costume. dress-shield (or -preserver) a piece of waterproof material fastened in the armpit of a dress to protect it from sweat. dress-shirt a man's usu. starched white shirt worn with evening dress. dress up 1 dress (oneself or another) elaborately for a special occasion. 2 dress in fancy dress. 3 disguise (unwelcome facts) by embellishment. Etymology: ME f. OF dresser ult. f. L directus DIRECT

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Dress Dress, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Dressedor 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.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

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.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

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.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(dresses, dressing, dressed) Frequency: The word is one of the 1500 most common words in English. 1. A dress is a piece of clothing worn by a woman or girl. It covers her body and part of her legs. She was wearing a black dress. N-COUNT 2. You can refer to clothes worn by men or women as dress. He's usually smart in his dress. ...hundreds of Cambodians in traditional dress. see also evening dress, fancy dress, full dress, morning dress 3. When you dress or dress yourself, you put on clothes. He told Sarah to wait while he dressed... Sue had dressed herself neatly for work. VERB: V, V pron-refl 4. If you dress someone, for example a child, you put clothes on them. She bathed her and dressed her in clean clothes. VERB: V n 5. If someone dresses in a particular way, they wear clothes of a particular style or colour. He dresses in a way that lets everyone know he's got authority... VERB: V in n 6. If you dress for something, you put on special clothes for it. We don't dress for dinner here. VERB: V for n 7. When someone dresses a wound, they clean it and cover it. The poor child never cried or protested when I was dressing her wounds. VERB: V n 8. If you dress a salad, you cover it with a mixture of oil, vinegar, and herbs or flavourings. Scatter the tomato over, then dress the salad. ...a bowl of dressed salad. VERB: V n, V-ed 9. see also dressing, dressed

Easton's Bible Dictionary

(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).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

In the Hebrew and Greek there is a wonderful wealth of terminology having to do with the general subject of dress among the ancient Orientals. This is reflected in the numerous synonyms for "dress" to be found in English Versions of the Bible, "apparel," "attire," "clothes," "raiment," "garments," etc. But the words used in the originals are often greatly obscured through the inconsistent variations of the translators. Besides there are few indications even in the original Hebrew or Greek of the exact shape or specific materials of the various articles of dress named, and so their identification is made doubly difficult. In dealing with the subject, therefore, the most reliable sources of information, apart from the meaning of the terms used in characterization, are certain well-known facts about the costumes and dress-customs of the orthodox Jews, and others about the forms of dress worn today by the people of simple life and primitive habits in modern Palestine. Thanks to the ultraconservatism and unchanging usages of the nearer East, this is no mean help. In the endeavor to discover, distinguish and deal with the various oriental garments, then, we will consider:

1. The Meaning of Terms;

2. The Materials;

3. The Outer Garments;

4. The Inner Garments;

5. The Headdress;

6. The Foot-gear;

7. The Dress of Jesus and His Disciples.

1. Meaning of Terms:

There was originally a sharp distinction between classical and oriental costume, but this was palpably lessened under the cosmopolitanism of the Roman Empire. This of course had its effect both in the modification of the fashions of the day and upon the words used for articles of clothing in the New Testament.

(1) The terms most used for clothes in general were, in the Old Testament, cadhin, simlah, salmah, and in the New Testament himation (Mt 21:7; 24:18; 26:65; Lu 8:27) and enduma (Mt 22:11 f; compare Mt 7:15), plural, though the oldest and most widely distributed article of human apparel was probably the "loin-cloth" (Hebrew 'ezor), entirely different from "girdle" (Greek zone). Biblical references for clothes are nearly all to the costume of the males, owing doubtless to the fact that the garments ordinarily used indoors were worn alike by men and women.

(2) The three normal body garments, the ones most mentioned in the Scriptures, are cadjin, a rather long "under garment" provided with sleeves; kethoneth (Greek chiton), a long-sleeved tunic worn over the cadhin, likewise a shirt with sleeves (see Masterman, DCG, article "Dress"); and simlah (Greek himation), the cloak of the King James Version and the Revised Version (British and American), used in the plural for "garments" in general; and the "girdle" (Greek zone; Arabic zunnar). The "headdress" (two types are now in use, the "turban" and the "kufiyeh") is never definitely named in the Bible, though we know it was the universal custom among ancient Orientals to cover the head.

(3) The simlah (Greek himation) signifies an "outer garment" (see below), a "mantle," or "cloak" (see lexicons). A kindred word in the Greek himatismos, (translated "raiment" in Lu 9:29, "garments" in Mt 27:35, and "vesture" in Joh 19:24) stands in antithesis to himation. The Greek chiton, Hebrew kethoneth, the "under garment," is translated "coat" in Mt 5:40, "clothes" in Mr 14:63. The Hebrew word me`il, Greek stole, Latin stola, stands for a variety of garment used only by men of rank or of the priestly order, rendered the Revised Version (British and American) "robe." It stands for the long garments of the scribes rendered "long robes" (Mr 12:38; Lu 20:46) and "best robe" in the story of the Prodigal Son (Lu 15:22). (For difference between me`il and simlah, see Kennedy, one-vol HDB, 197.) Oriental influences led to the adoption of the long tunic in Rome, and in Cicero's time it was a mark of effeminacy. It came to be known in its white form as tunica alba, or "white tunic," afterward in English "alb."

Other New Testament terms are porphuran, the "purple" (Lu 16:19); the purple robe of Jesus is called himation in Joh 19:2; lention, "the towel" with which Jesus girded himself (13:4,5); then othonion, "linen cloth" (Lu 24:12; Joh 19:40); sindon, "linen cloth" (Mt 27:59); and bussos, "fine linen" (Lu 16:19).

The primitive "aprons" of Ge 3:7, made of "sewed fig-leaves," were quite different from the "aprons" brought to the apostles in Ac 19:12. The latter were of a species known among the Romans as semicinctium, a short "waist-cloth" worn especially by slaves (Rich, Dict. of Roman and Greek Antiq.).

2. The Materials:

Anthropology, Scripture and archaeology all witness to the use by primitive man of skins of animals as dress material (Ge 3:21, "coats of skin"; compare Heb 11:37#, "went about in sheepskins, in goatskins").

Even today the traveler will occasionally see in Palestine a shepherd clad in "a coat of skin." Then, as now, goat's hair and camel's hair supplied the materials for the coarser fabrics of the poor. John the Baptist had his raiment, enduma, of camel's hair (literally, "of camel's hairs," Mt 3:4). This was a coarse cloth made by weaving camel's hairs. There is no evidence that coats of camel's skin, like those made of goat's skin or sheep's skin have ever been worn in the East, as imagined by painters (see Meyer, Bleek, Weiss and Broadus; but compare HDB, article "Camel"). The favorite materials, however, in Palestine, as throughout the Orient, in ancient times, were wool (see Pr 27:26, "The lambs are for thy clothing") and flax (see Pr 31:13, where it is said of the ideal woman of King Lemuel, "She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands"). The finest quality of ancient "linen" seems to have been the product of Egypt (see LINEN). The "silk" of Pr 31:22 the King James Version is really "fine linen," as in the Revised Version (British and American). The first certain mention of "silk" in the Bible, it is now conceded, is in Re 18:12, as the word rendered "silk" in Eze 16:10,13 is of doubtful meaning.

3. The Outer Garments:

(1) We may well begin here with the familiar saying of Jesus for a basal distinction: "If any man would go to law with thee, and take away thy coat (Greek chiton), let him have thy cloak (himation) also" (Mt 5:40). Here the "coat" (Hebrew kethoneth) was the ordinary "inner garment" worn by the Jew of the day, in which he did the work of the day (see Mt 24:18; Mr 13:16). It resembled the Roman "tunic," corresponding most nearly to our "long shirt," reaching below the knees always, and, in case it was designed for dress occasions, reaching almost to the ground. Sometimes "two coats" were worn (Lu 3:11; compare Mt 10:10; Mr 6:9), but in general only one. It was this garment of Jesus that is said by John (Joh 19:23) to have been "without seam, woven from the top throughout."

(2) The word himation, here rendered "cloak," denotes the well-known "outer garment" of the Jews (see Mt 9:20,21; 14:36; 21:7,8; but compare also Mt 9:16; 17:2; 24:18; 26:65; 27:31,35). It appears in some cases to have been a loose robe, but in most others, certainly, it was a large square piece of cloth, like a modern shawl, which could be wrapped around the person, with more or less taste and comfort. Now these two, with the "girdle" (a necessary and almost universal article of oriental dress), were commonly all the garments worn by the ordinary man of the Orient. The "outer garment" was frequently used by the poor and by the traveler as his only covering at night, just as shawls are used among us now.

(3) The common Hebrew name for this "outer garment" in the Old Testament is as above, simlah or salmah. In most cases it was of "wool," though sometimes of "linen," and was as a rule certainly the counterpart of the himation of the Greek (this is its name throughout the New Testament). It answered, too, to the pallium of the Romans. It belonged, like them, not to the endumata, or garments "put on," but to the periblemata, or garments "wrapped, around" the body. It was concerning this "cloak" that the Law of Moses provided that, if it were taken in pawn, it should be returned before sunset--"for that is his only covering, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? .... for I am gracious" (Ex 22:27). The Jewish tribunals would naturally, therefore, allow the "inner garment" to be taken by legal process, rather than the outer one (Mt 5:40; Lu 6:29); but Jesus virtually teaches that rather than have difficulty or indulge animosity one would better yield one's rights in this, as in other matters; compare 1Co 6:7.

Some identify the simlah of the ancient Hebrews with modern aba, the coarse blouse or overcoat worn today by the Syrian peasant (Nowack, Benzinger, Mackie in HDB); but the distinction between these two garments of the Jews, so clearly made in the New Testament, seems to confirm the conclusion otherwise reached, that this Jewish "outer garment" closely resembled, if it was not identical with, the himation of the Greeks (see Jew Encyclopedia, article "Cloke" and 1-vol HDB, "Dress," 197; but compare Masterman, DCG, article "Dress," 499, and Dearmer, DCG, article "Cloke"). In no respect has the variety of renderings in our English Versions of the Bible done more to conceal from English readers the meaning of the original than in the case of this word simlah. For instance it is the "garment" with which Noah's nakedness was covered (Ge 9:23); the "clothes" in which the Hebrews bound up, their kneading-troughs (Ex 12:34); the "garment" of Gideon in Jud 8:25; the "raiment" of Ru (3:3); just as the himation of the New Testament is the "cloak" of Mt 5:40, the "clothes" of Mt 24:18 the King James Version (the Revised Version (British and American) "cloak"), the "garment" (Mr 13:16 the King James Version, the Revised Version (British and American) "cloak").

4. The Under Garments:

(1) In considering the under garments, contrary to the impression made by English Versions of the Bible, we must begin with the "loin-cloth" (Hebrew 'ezor), which unlike the "girdle" (see GIRDLE), was always worn next to the skin. The figurative use made of it in Isa 11:5, and Jer 13:11, e. g. will be lost unless this is remembered. Often it was the only "under garment," as with certain of the prophets (Elijah, 2Ki 1:8; compare John the Baptist, Mt 3:4; Isa 20:2, Jer 13:1 ff). In later times it was displaced among the Hebrews by the "shirt" or "tunic" (see TUNIC). The universal "sign of mourning" was the girding of the waist with an 'ezor or "hair-cloth" (English Versions, "sack-cloth"). A "loincloth" of "linen" was worn by the priests of early times and bore the special name of 'ephodh (1Sa 2:18; compare 2Sa 6:14 ff).

(2) The ordinary "under garment," later worn by all classes--certain special occasions and individuals being exceptions--was the "shirt" (Hebrew kethoneth) which, as we have seen, reappears as chiton in Greek, and tunica in Latin It is uniformly rendered "coat" in English Versions of the Bible, except that the Revised Version, margin has "tunic" in Joh 19:23. The well-known piece of Assyrian sculpture, representing the siege and capture of Lachish by Sennacherib, shows the Jewish captives, male and female, dressed in a moderately tight garment, fitting close to the neck (compare Job 30:18) and reaching almost to the ankles; which must represent the kethoneth, or kuttoneth of the period, as worn in towns at least. Probably the kuttoneth of the peasantry was both looser and shorter, resembling more the modern kamis of the Syrian fellah (compare Latin camisa, and English "chemise").

(3) As regards sleeves, they are not expressly mentioned in the Old Testament, but the Lachish tunics mentioned above have short sleeves, reaching half-way to the elbows. This probably represents the prevailing type of sleeve among the Hebrews of the earlier period. An early Egyptian picture of a group of Semitic traders (circa 2000 BC) shows a colored tunic without sleeves, which, fastened on the left shoulder, left the right bare. Another variety of sleeves, restricted to the upper and wealthy classes, had long and wide sleeves reaching to the ground. This was the tunic worn by Tamar, the royal princess (2Sa 13:18, "A garment of divers colors upon her; for with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins appareled"), "the tunic of (i.e. reaching to) palms and soles" worn by Joseph, familiarly known as the "coat of many colors" (Ge 37:3), a rendering which represents now an abandoned tradition (compare Kennedy, HDB). The long white linen tunic, which was the chief garment of the ordinary Jewish priest of the later period, had sleeves, which, for special reasons, were tied to the arms (compare Josephus, Ant., III, vii, 2).

(4) Ultimately it became usual, even with the people of the lower ranks, to wear an under "tunic," or "real shirt" (Josephus, Ant., XVII, vi, 7; Mishna, passim, where it is called chaluq). In this case the upper tunic, the kuttoneth proper, would be removed at night (compare So 5:3, "I have put off my garment").

The material for the tunic might be either

(1) woven on the loom in two pieces, and afterward put together without cutting (compare Dict. of Roman and Greek Antiq., article "Tunica"), or

(2) the garment might be woven whole on a special loom, "without seam," i.e. so as to require no sewing, as we know from the description given in Joh 19:23, and from other sources, was the chiton worn by our Lord just before His crucifixion. The garments intended by the Hebrew (Da 3:21-27), rendered "coats" the King James Version, have not been certainly made out. The King James Version margin has "mantles" the English Revised Version "hosen" the American Standard Revised Version "breeches" (see HOSEN). For "coat of mail" (1Sa 17:5) see ARMOR.

5. The Headdress:

When the Hebrews first emerged into view, they seem to have had no covering for the head except on special demand, as in case of war, when a leather-helmet was worn (see ARMOR). Ordinarily, as with the fellah of Palestine today, a rope or cord served as a fillet (compare 1Ki 20:32, and Virgil, Aeneid (Dryden), iv.213: "A golden fillet binds his awful brows"). Such "fillets" may be seen surviving in the representation of Syrians on the monuments of Egypt. Naturally, in the course of time, exposure to the Syrian sun in the tropical summer time would compel recourse to some such covering as the modern kufiyeh, which lets in the breeze, but protects in a graceful, easy way, the head, the neck and the shoulders. The headgear of Ben- hadad's tribute carriers (see above) resembles the Phrygian cap.

The head covering, however, which is best attested, at least for the upper ranks of both sexes, is the turban (Hebrew tsaniph, from a root meaning to "wind round"). It is the ladies' "hood" of Isa 3:23, the Revised Version (British and American) "turban"; the "royal diadem" of Isa 62:3, and the "mitre" of Zec 3:5, the Revised Version, margin "turban" or "diadem." Ezekiel's description of a lady's headdress: "I bound thee with attire of fine linen" (Eze 16:10 margin), points to a turban. For the egg-shaped turban of the priests see BONNET (the Revised Version (British and American) "head-tires"). The hats of Da 3:21 (the Revised Version (British and American) "mantles") are thought by some to have been the conical Babylonian headdress seen on the monuments. According to 2 Macc 4:12 the Revised Version (British and American) the young Jewish nobles were compelled by Antiochus Epiphanes to wear the petasos, the low, broad-brimmed hat associated with Hermes. Other forms of headdress were in use in New Testament times, as we learn from the Mishna, as well as from the New Testament, e. g. the suddar (soudarion) from Latin sudarium (a cloth for wiping off perspiration, sudor) which is probably the "napkin" of Joh 11:44; 20:7, although there it appears as a kerchief, or covering, for the head. The female captives from Lachish (see above) wear over their tunics an upper garment, which covers the forehead and falls down over the shoulders to the ankles. Whether this is the garment intended by the Hebrew in Ru 3:15, rendered "vail" by the King James Version and "mantle" by the Revised Version (British and American), and "kerchiefs for the head" (Eze 13:18 the Revised Version (British and American)), we cannot say. The "veil" with which Rebekah and Tamar "covered themselves" (Ge 24:65; 38:14) was most likely a large "mantle" in which the whole body could be wrapped, like the cadhin (see above). But it seems impossible to draw a clear distinction between "mantle" and "veil" in the Old Testament (Kennedy). The case of Moses (Ex 34:33) gives us the only express mention of a "face-veil."

6. Footgear:

The ancient Hebrews, like Orientals in general, went barefoot within doors. Out of doors they usually wore sandals, less frequently shoes. The simplest form of sandal then, as now, consisted of a sole of untanned leather, bound to the foot by a leather thong, the shoe-latchet of Ge 14:23 and the latchet of Mr 1:7, etc. In the obelisk of Shalmaneser, however, Jehu's attendants are distinguished by shoes completely covering the feet, from the Assyrians, who are represented as wearing sandals fitted with a heel-cap. Ladies of Ezekiel's day wore shoes of "sealskin" (Eze 16:10 the Revised Version (British and American)). The soldiers' "laced boot" may be intended in Isa 9:5 (the Revised Version (British and American), margin). Then, as now, on entering the house of a friend, or a sacred precinct (Ex 3:5; Jos 5:15), or in case of mourning (2Sa 15:30), the sandals, or shoes, were removed. The priests performed their offices in the Temple in bare feet (compare the modern requirement on entering a mosque).

7. The Dress of Jesus and His Disciples:

In general we may say that the clothes worn by Christ and His disciples were of the simplest and least sumptuous kinds. A special interest must attach even to the clothes that Jesus wore. These consisted, it seems quite certain, not of just five separate articles (see Edersheim, LTJM, I, 625), but of six. In His day it had become customary to wear a linen shirt (chaluq) beneath the tunic (see above). That our Lord wore such a "shirt" seems clear from the mention of the laying aside of the upper garments (himatia, plural), i.e. the "mantle" and the "tunic," before washing His disciples' feet (Joh 13:4). The tunic proper worn by Him, as we have seen, was "woven without seam" throughout, and was of the kind, therefore, that fitted closely about the neck, and had short sleeves. Above the tunic would naturally be the linen girdle, wound several times about the waist. On His feet were leather sandals (Mt 3:11). His upper garment was of the customary sort and shape, probably of white woolen cloth, as is suggested by the details of the account of the Transfiguration (Mr 9:3), with the four prescribed "tassels" at the corners. As to His headdress, we have no description of it, but we may set it down as certain that no Jewish teacher of that day would appear in public with the head uncovered. He probably wore the customary white linen "napkin" (sudarium), wound round the head as a turban, with the ends of it falling down over the neck. The dress of His disciples was, probably, not materially different.

In conclusion it may be said that, although the dress of even orthodox Jews today is as various as their lands of residence and their languages, yet there are two garments worn by them the world over, the Tallith and the 'arba` kanephoth (see DCG, article "Dress," col. 1). Jews who affect special sanctity, especially those living in the Holy Land, still wear the Tallith all day, as was the common custom in Christ's time. As the earliest mention of the 'arba` kanephoth is in 1350 AD, it is clear that it cannot have existed in New Testament times.


Nowack's and Benzinger's Hebrew Archaologie; Tristram, Eastern Customs in Bible Lands; Rich, Dict. of Roman and Greek Antiq.; Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, 625, and elsewhere; articles on "Dress," "Clothing," "Costumes," etc., HDB, DCG, Jew Encyclopedia (by Noldeke) in Encyclopedia Biblica (by Abrahams and Cook); Masterman, "Dress and Personal Adornment in Mod. Palestine," in Biblical World, 1902, etc.

George B. Eager

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

I. v. a. 1. Align, make straight. 2. Adjust, arrange, dispose, set or put in order. 3. Prepare, fit, make suitable or fit, get ready, make ready. 4. Clothe, array, attire, apparel, accoutre, robe, rig, trick out. 5. Adorn, deck, decorate, embellish, trim, set out, set off. II. v. n. Get or put on one's clothes, make one's toilet, attire one's self. III. n. 1. Clothes, clothing, raiment, garments, garb, guise, habit, apparel, attire, habiliment, vesture, suit, costume. 2. Array, fine clothes, rich garments, elegant attire. 3. (Lady's) gown.

1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

To beat. I'll dress his hide neatly; I'll beat him soundly.

Moby Thesaurus

Mother Hubbard, accouter, adorn, anoint, apparel, appoint, arm, armory, arrange, array, attire, backset, badge, badge of office, badges, ballet skirt, bandage, bathe, baton, bawl out, beautify, bedeck, bedizen, bedizenment, bedrape, beeswax, berate, bib and tucker, bind, blazon, blazonry, bless, brassard, brush up, buff, bundle up, burnish, butcher, button, camouflage, cap and gown, care for, castigate, chain, chain of office, cheongsam, chew out, chiton, clad, class ring, clean, clear for action, clear the decks, clothe, clothes, clothing, cockade, cocktail dress, collar, color, costume, crinoline, cross, culottes, cultivate, culture, cure, cut, dab, dandify, daub, deck, deck out, decorate, decoration, delve, deploy, diagnose, dig, dight, dirndl, disguise, dizen, doctor, doll up, drag, drape, drapery, dress down, dress up, dresses, dressing, dub, dud, duds, eagle, embellish, emblazon, emblems, embrocate, embroider, enclothe, endue, enrich, enrobe, enshroud, ensigns, envelop, enwrap, equalize, equip, even, fallow, fasces, fashion, fatigues, fatten, feathers, fecundify, fertilize, fettle, fig, fig out, figurehead, fit, fit out, fit up, fix, fix up, flatten, fleur-de-lis, flux, force, frock, fructify, full skirt, furbish, furnish, garb, garment, garments, garnish, gear, get ready, give care to, glycerolate, gown, grace, grade, grass skirt, grease, grease the wheels, groom, guise, gussy up, gut, habiliment, habiliments, habilitate, habit, hammer and sickle, harrow, heal, heel, heraldry, hobble skirt, hoe, impregnate, inseminate, insignia, invest, investiture, investment, jumper, jupe, kilt, kirtle, labor, lap, lapel pin, lard, lay, level, linen, list, livery, lubricate, mace, make arrangements, make preparations, make ready, man, manicure, mantle, mantua, manure, markings, marshal, masquerade, massage, maxiskirt, medal, medicate, microskirt, midiskirt, miniskirt, minister to, mobilize, mortarboard, mow, muffle up, mulch, munition, muu-muu, nurse, oil, old school tie, operate on, ornament, outfit, overdress, paint, pannier, peplum, petticoat, physic, pin, pinafore, plan, plane, planish, plaster, plow, plume, polish, pomade, poultice, prank, prank up, prearrange, preen, prep, prepare, pretreat, prettify, primp, primp up, prink, prink up, process, prolificate, provide, prune, purge, put in shape, rag out, rags, raiment, rake, ready, ready up, rebuke, redecorate, redo, refurbish, regalia, remedy, reprimand, reprove, rig, rig out, rig up, ring, robe, robes, rose, rub, rub up, sack, salve, sand, sandblast, sandpaper, sari, sarong, school ring, scold, set off, set out, settle preliminaries, shamrock, shave, sheath, sheathe, shine, shirtdress, shroud, sigillography, skirt, skull and crossbones, slaughter, slick, slick on, slit skirt, smarten, smarten up, smear, smooth, smooth down, smooth out, smooth the way, soap the ways, spade, sphragistics, splint, sportswear, spruce up, staff, strap, style, suit, swaddle, swastika, swathe, tan, tartan, tea gown, tell off, tend, thin, thin out, things, thistle, threads, tie, till, till the soil, tire, titivate, togs, toilette, tongue-lash, treat, trick out, trick up, trim, try out, turn out, tutu, unguent, uniform, upbraid, verge, vestment, vesture, wand, wax, wear, wearing apparel, weed, weed out, work, wrap, wrap up


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