\ə-ˈdȯrn \
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

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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

Independence Brewing’s new beer, Native Texan pilsner, comes in a can that seems styled after the sticker with the same words that adorns many a pickup truck in this state. Markus Haas, San Antonio Express-News, "Your guide to 8 great summer beers," 12 July 2018 Lynch wanted to find out what the gold medallion that had adorned the shield looked like. Kimberly Fornek,, "Hinsdale American Legion restoring statue with new medallion, nearly 90 years after original was stolen," 10 July 2018 His zany ideas include selling the City Hall property rather than collecting lease income for 90 years, reducing city business license fees and even selling the bunny sculptures that adorn the Civic Center green., "Protecting tide pools is critical but why not stop selling starfish and shells?," 3 July 2018 The murals: Lake Placid is also one giant art museum in the form of dozens of murals that adorn the concrete walls of banks, churches and other businesses and city buildings throughout town. Richard Tribou,, "52 excuses to visit Florida's Highlands County," 1 July 2018 The couple no longer accepts Hummel figurines that once adorned shelves in so many Baltimore living rooms or pricey, ornate china settings, which must be hand washed and aren’t a necessity for minimalist millennials. Jessica Anderson,, "Toy-collecting couple in Towson in search of dolls, trains and treasures of the past," 23 June 2018 Among the paintings that adorn the walls is a diptych of Adolf Hitler and Donald Trump. The Economist, "Why America and Mexico are destined to grow even closer," 21 June 2018 Today, members of the National Pony Express Association wear red shirts, brown vests, yellow neckties, jeans, and cowboy hats to replicate the attire that adorned the original riders. Claire Morgan And Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "158th annual Pony Express ride kicks off in Old Sacramento," 20 June 2018 Last week, Sun Country Airlines asked employees to vote on their preference for a new paint scheme that will eventually adorn the carrier’s airplanes. Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY, "The votes are in: Sun Country Airlines' new paint scheme is ...," 11 June 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for adorn

Last Updated

2 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for adorn

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

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More Definitions for adorn



English Language Learners Definition of adorn

: to make (someone or something) more attractive by adding something beautiful


\ə-ˈdȯrn \
adorned; adorning

Kids Definition of adorn

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

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Comments on adorn

What made you want to look up adorn? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something that serves to warn or remind

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