verb em·bel·lish \im-ˈbe-lish\

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

Full Definition of EMBELLISH

transitive verb
:  to make beautiful with ornamentation :  decorate <a book embellished with illustrations>
:  to heighten the attractiveness of by adding decorative or fanciful details :  enhance <embellished our account of the trip>
em·bel·lish·er noun

Examples of EMBELLISH

  1. a book embellished with colorful illustrations
  2. He embellished his speech with a few quotations.


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

EMBELLISHING Defined for Kids


verb em·bel·lish \im-ˈbe-lish\

Definition of EMBELLISH for Kids

:  decorate 1 <Artwork embellished the book.>
em·bel·lish·ment \-mənt\ noun


Next Word in the Dictionary: embellishmentPrevious Word in the Dictionary: embelinAll Words Near: embellish
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears