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dressed (up) to the nines Informal

Meaning: If you are dressed to the nines, or dressed up to the nines, you are wearing very smart clothes for a special occasion.

For example:

  • Have you seen Harry? He's dressed to the nines and he looks amazing.

  • Everyone was dressed up to the nines for the Academy Awards, with the men in tuxedos and the women in evening gowns.

Origin: This phrase is derived from the earlier idiom "to the nines" which was used to indicate that something was of the highest standard. The earlier idiom only survives today as part of the phrase "dressed to the nines".

Quick Quiz:

We were all dressed to the nines because we were
  1. going to a wedding
  2. going to play golf
  3. going to the beach

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