verb \ ə-ˈdȯrn \
|Updated on: 13 Jul 2018

Definition of adorn

adorned; adorning; adorns
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

Examples of adorn in a Sentence

  1. Her paintings adorn the walls.

  2. the Sultan's tent was richly adorned with thick tapestries and gleaming gold candlesticks

Recent Examples of adorn from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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

Synonym Discussion of 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

ADORN Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of adorn for English Language Learners

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

ADORN Defined for Kids


verb \ ə-ˈdȯrn \

Definition of adorn for Students

adorned; adorning
: to make more attractive by adding something
  • Paintings adorn the walls.

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to beat or defeat soundly

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