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verb em·bel·lish \im-ˈbe-lish\

Simple Definition of embellish

  • : to decorate (something) by adding special details and features : to make (something) more appealing or attractive

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of embellish

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to make beautiful with ornamentation :  decorate <a book embellished with illustrations>

  3. 2 :  to heighten the attractiveness of by adding decorative or fanciful details :  enhance <embellished our account of the trip>

embellisher noun

Examples of embellish in a sentence

  1. a book embellished with colorful illustrations

  2. 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 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

adorn, decorate, ornament, embellish, beautify, deck, garnish mean to enhance the appearance of something by adding something unessential. adorn implies an enhancing by something beautiful in itself <a diamond necklace adorned her neck>. decorate suggests relieving plainness or monotony by adding beauty of color or design <decorate a birthday cake>. ornament and embellish imply the adding of something extraneous, ornament stressing the heightening or setting off of the original <a white house ornamented with green shutters>, embellish often stressing the adding of superfluous or adventitious ornament <embellish a page with floral borders>. beautify adds to embellish a suggestion of counterbalancing plainness or ugliness <will beautify the grounds with flower beds>. deck implies the addition of something that contributes to gaiety, splendor, or showiness <a house all decked out for Christmas>. garnish suggests decorating with a small final touch and is used especially in referring to the serving of food <an entrée garnished with parsley>.

Rhymes with embellish

EMBELLISH Defined for Kids


verb em·bel·lish \im-ˈbe-lish\

Definition of embellish for Students


  1. :  decorate 1 <Artwork embellished the book.>

embellishment \-mənt\ noun

Seen and Heard

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marked by grandiloquent style

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