Simple Definition of embellish
: to decorate (something) by adding special details and features : to make (something) more appealing or attractive
Examples of embellish in a sentence
a book embellished with colorful illustrations
He embellished his speech with a few quotations.
Did You Know?
Like its synonyms "adorn," "ornament," and "garnish," "embellish" means to make something beautiful by the addition of a decorative or fanciful feature. Traditionally, the word is used specifically to stress the addition of superfluous or adventitious ornament, as in "the printer embellished the page with a floral border." "Embellish" differs from its synonyms, however, in that it is sometimes used in a euphemistic way (as in our example sentence) to refer to the inclusion of details that are not necessarily true to make a story sound more appealing. The word derives via Middle English from the Anglo-French verb embelir, from en- and bel ("beautiful").
Origin and Etymology of embellish
Middle English, from Anglo-French embeliss-, stem of embelir, from en- + bel beautiful — more at beauty
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of embellish
EMBELLISH Defined for Kids
Seen and Heard
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