\ ə-ˈdȯrn How to pronounce adorn (audio) \
adorned; adorning; adorns

Definition of adorn

transitive verb

1 : to enhance the appearance of especially with beautiful objects adorned the wall with her paintings
2 : to enliven or decorate as if with ornaments people of fashion who adorned the Court

Choose the Right Synonym for adorn

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

Examples of adorn in a Sentence

Her paintings adorn the walls. the Sultan's tent was richly adorned with thick tapestries and gleaming gold candlesticks
Recent Examples on the Web However, more complicated than the staircase itself are the gruesome blood spatters that adorn it, the patterns and placement of which play an integral role in the legal case. Sasha Urban, Variety, 12 May 2022 The 1880s, for example, saw men embrace the tuxedo from England, and women adorn themselves in highly formal fashions like bustles and extravagant hats. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 14 Apr. 2022 Cool lighting fixtures, rugs and mirrors also adorn the space. Emma Reynolds, Forbes, 25 Apr. 2022 Snowy sunsets and northern lights adorn the other shoe. Sage Smiley, Anchorage Daily News, 15 Apr. 2022 Mercedes-Maybach and Virgil Abloh logos adorn the center console, rear cushions, headrests, and door sills. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 5 Apr. 2022 Over 9,000 windows adorn a building that originally housed 15,000 fans. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 15 Mar. 2022 Stone and shutters adorn the exterior, and inside, living spaces are dressed in oak floors and custom moldings. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, 22 Jan. 2022 The Salt Lake Tribune) Pictures of Gabby Petito, candles and flowers adorn a table at a vigil at Sugar House Park, Sept. 22, 2021 in her honor. Connor Sanders, The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'adorn.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of adorn

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for adorn

Middle English aournen, adournen, borrowed from Anglo-French aurner, adourner (with d restored from Latin), going back to Latin adōrnāre "to get ready, prepare, decorate, embellish," from ad- ad- + ōrnāre "to prepare, equip, embellish" — more at ornate

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The first known use of adorn was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Adorn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for adorn


\ ə-ˈdȯrn How to pronounce adorn (audio) \
adorned; adorning

Kids Definition of adorn

: to make more attractive by adding something Paintings adorn the walls.

More from Merriam-Webster on adorn

Nglish: Translation of adorn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adorn for Arabic Speakers


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