The Bible

Bible Usage:


  • Included in Eastons: Yes
  • Included in Hitchcocks: No
  • Included in Naves: Yes
  • Included in Smiths: Yes
  • Included in Websters: Yes
  • Included in Strongs: Yes
  • Included in Thayers: No
  • Included in BDB: Yes

Strongs Concordance:


Easton's Bible Dictionary

1. Materials used. The earliest and simplest an apron of fig-leaves sewed together (Genesis 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 (Exodus 26:7; 35:6), which formed the sackcloth of mourners. This was the material of John the Baptist's robe (Matthew 3:4). Wool was also woven into garments (Leviticus 13:47; Deuteronomy 22:11; Ezekiel 34:3; Job 31:20; Proverbs 27:26). The Israelites probably learned the art of weaving linen when they were in Egypt (1 Chronicles 4:21). Fine linen was used in the vestments of the high priest (Exodus 28:5), as well as by the rich (Genesis 41:42; Proverbs 31:22; Luke 16:19). The use of mixed material, as wool and flax, was forbidden (Leviticus 19:19; Deuteronomy 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 (Psalms 104:1, 2; Isaiah 63:3; Mark 9:3). The Hebrews were acquainted with the art of dyeing (Genesis 37:3, 23). Various modes of ornamentation were adopted in the process of weaving (Exodus 28:6; 26:1, 31; 35:25), and by needle-work (Judges 5:30; Psalms 45:13). Dyed robes were imported from foreign countries, particularly from Phoenicia (Zephaniah 1:8). Purple and scarlet robes were the marks of the wealthy (Luke 16:19; 2 Samuel 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 Samuel 19:24; Isaiah 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 Judges 14:12, 13, and rendered there "sheets." (c) An upper tunic (meil), longer than the "coat" (1 Samuel 2:19; 24:4; 28:14). In 1 Samuel 28:14 it is the mantle in which Samuel was enveloped; in 1 Samuel 24:4 it is the "robe" under which Saul slept. The disciples were forbidden to wear two "coats" (Matthew 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 Samuel 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; Psalms 79:12; Haggai 2:12; Proverbs 17:23; 21:14).

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

The dress of the Persians is described in Daniel 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 (Proverbs 31:22; Acts 9:39).

Extravagance in dress is referred to in Jeremiah 4:30; Ezekiel 16:10; Zephania 1:8 (R.V., "foreign apparel"); 1 Timothy 2:9; 1 Peter 3:3. Rending the robes was expressive of grief (Genesis 37:29, 34), fear (1 Kings 21:27), indignation (2 Kings 5:7), or despair (Judges 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 Samuel 15:30; casting them off, of excitement (Acts 22:23); laying hold of them, of supplication (1 Samuel 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).

Naves Topical Index

Of fig leaves
Genesis 3:7

Of skins
Genesis 3:21
Hair; Goat, Hair of; Leather; Linen; Sackcloth; Silk; Wool

Mixed materials in, forbidden
Deuteronomy 22:11

Men forbidden to wear women's, and women forbidden to wear men's
Deuteronomy 22:5

Rules with respect to women's
1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:3

Not to be held over night as a pledge for debt
Exodus 22:26

Ceremonial purification of
Leviticus 11:32; Leviticus 13:47-59; Numbers 31:20

Of the head:


Prescribed by Moses, for the priests
Exodus 28:40; Exodus 29:9; Exodus 39:28

Prescribed by Ezekiel, for the priests
Ezekiel 44:18

Worn by women
Isaiah 3:20; Ezekiel 24:17; Ezekiel 24:23

Hats worn by men
Daniel 3:21

Isaiah 3:23

Ezekiel 13:18; Ezekiel 13:21

Various articles of:


General references
Ezra 9:3; 1 Kings 19:13; 1 Chronicles 15:27; Job 1:20

Many colored
2 Samuel 13:18

John 19:2; John 19:5

Exodus 28:4; 1 Samuel 18:4

Isaiah 3:22

Embroidered coat
Exodus 28:4; Exodus 28:40; 1 Samuel 2:19; Daniel 3:21

Sleeveless shirt, called coat
Matthew 5:40; Luke 6:29; John 19:23; Acts 9:39

2 Timothy 4:13; John 19:2; John 19:5

Daniel 3:21

Ezekiel 5:3

Isaiah 3:19

Wimples (satchels)
Isaiah 3:22

Isaiah 3:20

Changes of raiment, the folly of excessive
Job 27:16

Uniform vestments kept in store:

For worshipers of Baal
2 Kings 10:22-23; Zephaniah 1:8

For wedding feasts
Matthew 22:11

Presents made of changes of raiment
Genesis 45:22; 1 Samuel 18:4; 2 Kings 5:5; Esther 6:8; Daniel 5:7

Vestments of mourning


Filthy, of unrighteousness
Isaiah 64:6

Of righteousness and of iniquity

Symbolic, filthy, of iniquity
Zech 3:3-4

Smith's Bible Dictionary

This subject includes the following particulars-

  1. Materials;
  2. Color and decoration;
  3. Name, form, and mode of wearing the various articles;
  4. Special usages relating thereto.
  5. Materials .

    After the first "apron" of fig leaves, (Genesis 3:7) the skins of animals were used for clothing. (Genesis 3:21) Such was the "mantle" worn by Elijah. Pelisses of sheepskin still form an ordinary article of dress in the East. The art of weaving hear was known to the Hebrews at an early period, (Exodus 25:4; 26:7) and wool was known earlier still. (Genesis 38:12) Their acquaintance with linen and perhaps cotton dates from the captivity in Egypt, (1 Chronicles 4:21) silk was introduced much later. (Revelation 18:12) The use of mixed material, such as wool and flax, was forbidden. (Leviticus 19:19; 22:11)

  6. Color and decoration.

    The prevailing color of the Hebrew dress was the natural white of the materials employed, which might be brought to a high state of brilliancy by the art of the fuller. (Mark 9:3) The notice of scarlet thread, (Genesis 38:28) implies some acquaintance with dyeing. The elements of ornamentation were

    (1) weaving with threads previously dyed, (Exodus 35:25) (2) the introduction of gold thread or wire, (Exodus 27:6) ff; (3) the addition of figures. Robes decorated with gold, (Psalms 45:13) and with silver thread, cf. (Acts 12:21) were worn by royal personages; other kinds of embroidered robes were worn by the wealthy, (Judges 5:30; Psalms 45:14; Ezekiel 16:13) as well as purple, (Proverbs 31:22; Luke 16:19) and scarlet. (2 Samuel 1:24)

  7. The names, forms, and modes of wearing the robes.

    The general characteristics of Oriental dress have preserved a remarkable uniformity in all ages- the modern Arab dresses much as the ancient Hebrew did. The costume of the men and women was very similar; there was sufficient difference, however, to mark the sex, and it was strictly forbidden to a woman to wear the appendages, such as the staff, signet-ring, and other ornaments, of a man; as well as to a man to wear the outer robe of a woman. (22:5) We shall first describe the robes which were common to the two sexes, and then those which were peculiar to women. (1) The inner garment was the most essential article of dress. It was a closely-fitting garment, resembling in form and use our shirt, though unfortunately translate "coat" in the Authorized Version. The material of which it was made was either wool, cotton or linen. It was without sleeves, and reached only to the knee. Another kind reached to the wrists and ankles. It was in either case kept close to the body by a girdle, and the fold formed by the overlapping of the robe served as an inner pocket. A person wearing the inner garment alone was described as naked. (2) There was an upper or second tunic, the difference being that it was longer than the first. (3) the linen cloth appears to have been a wrapper of fine linen, which might be used in various ways, but especially as a night-shirt. (Mark 14:51) (4) The outer garment consisted of a quadrangular piece of woollen cloth, probably resembling in shape a Scotch plaid. The size and texture would vary with the means of the wearer. It might be worn in various ways, either wrapped round the body or thrown over the shoulders like a shawl, with the ends or "skirts" hanging down in front; or it might be thrown over the head, so as to conceal the face. (2 Samuel 15:30; Esther 6;12) The ends were skirted with a fringe and bound with a dark purple ribbon, (Numbers 15:38) it was confined at the waist by a girdle. The outer garment was the poor man's bed clothing. (Exodus 22:26,27) The dress of the women differed from that of the men in regard to the outer garment, the inner garment being worn equally by both sexes. (Solomon 5:3) Among their distinctive robes we find a kind of shawl, (Ruth 3:15; Isaiah 3:22) light summer dresses of handsome appearance and ample dimensions,a nd gay holiday dresses. (Isaiah 3:24) The garments of females were terminated by an ample border of fringe (skirts , Authorized Version), which concealed the feet. (Isaiah 47:2; Jeremiah 13:22) The travelling cloak referred to by St. Paul, (2 Timothy 4:13) is generally identified with the Roman p'nula . It is, however, otherwise explained as a travelling-case for carrying clothes or books. The coat of many colors worn by Joseph, (Genesis 37:3,23) is variously taken to be either a "coat of divers colors" or a tunic furnished with sleeves and reaching down to the ankles. The latter is probably the correct sense.

  8. Special usages relating to dress.

    The length of the dress rendered it inconvenient for active exercise; hence the outer garments were either left in the house by a person working close by, (Matthew 24:18) or were thrown off when the occasion arose, (Mark 10:50) or, if this were not possible, as in the case of a person travelling, they were girded up. (1 Kings 18:46; 1 Peter 1:13) On entering a house the upper garment was probably laid aside, and resumed on going out. (Acts 12:8) In a sitting posture, the garments concealed the feet; this was held to be an act of reverence. (Isaiah 6:2) The number of suits possessed by the Hebrews was considerable- a single suit consisted of an under and upper garment. The presentation of a robe in many instances amounted to installation or investiture, (Genesis 41:42; Esther 8:15; Isaiah 22:21) on the other hand, taking it away amounted to dismissal from office. 2 Macc. 4.38. The production of the best robe was a mark of special honor in a household. (Luke 15:22) The number of robes thus received or kept in store for presents was very large, and formed one of the main elements of wealth in the East, (Job 22:6; Matthew 6:19; James 5:2) so that to have clothing implied the possession of wealth and power. (Isaiah 3:6,7) On grand occasions the entertainer offered becoming robes to his guests. The business of making clothes devolved upon women in a family. (Proverbs 31:22; Acts 9:39) little art was required in what we may term the tailoring department; the garments came forth for the most part ready made from the loom, so that the weaver supplanted the tailor.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

DRESS, verb transitive preterit tense and participle passive dressed or drest. [Latin]

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 2:15. Deuteronomy 28:39.

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, verb intransitive

1. To arrange in a line; as, look to the right and dress

2. To pay particular regard to dress or raiment.

DRESS, noun

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

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

DRESSED, participle passive Adjusted; made straight; put in order; prepared; trimmed; tilled; clothed; adorned; attired.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary


1. One who dresses; one who is employed in putting on clothes and adorning another; one who is employed in preparing trimming or adjusting any thing.

2. A side-board; a table or bench on which meat and other things are dressed or prepared for use.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

DRESSING, participle present tense Adjusting to a line; putting in order; preparing; clothing; embellishing; cultivating.


1. Raiment; attire.

2. That which is used as an application to a wound or sore.

3. That which is used in preparing land for a drop; manure spread over land. When it remains on the surface, it is called a top-dressing.

4. In popular language, correction; a flogging, or beating.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

DRESSING-ROOM, noun An apartment appropriated for dressing the person.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

DRESS-MAKER, noun A maker of gowns, or similar garments; a mantuamaker.

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

DRESSY, a Showy in dress; wearing rich or showy dresses.