\ 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

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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 Capture the flag’ In the building where the aggressor squadron has its headquarters, communist stars and posters of Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong adorn the walls in tongue-in-cheek fashion. Dan Lamothe, Anchorage Daily News, "In Interior Alaska, changes are coming in how the Air Force prepares for war," 14 May 2020 Although banners with the Petro symbol adorn government buildings in downtown Caracas, it’s largely ignored by Venezuelans who don’t know how or where to buy it. Lucia Kassai,, "Venezuela’s Demand for Payments in Crypto Pauses on Some Oil Purchases," 10 May 2020 Bethlehem Drive, three miles east of Gervais, has three of the churches, with the Church of the Holy Ascension in the middle, its seven domes all adorned by Orthodox Christian crosses. oregonlive, "Russian Old Believers in Oregon confront coronavirus: ‘It’s made its way into our community’," 9 May 2020 Chien’s work is synonymous with the Bay Area interior design landscape; her intricate rope sculptures and installations have been exhibited in galleries, decorating restaurants and adorning public spaces around town. Flora Tsapovsky,, "4 Bay Area artists find shelter from coronavirus crisis in creating. You can too," 7 May 2020 The now-iconic bracelets, which have the whimsical nature of a charm bracelet and an elegance suitable for adults, have become stackable statement pieces adorning every fashion lover's wrist. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "What I Wear to Work (at Home): Roxanne Assoulin, Founder of Roxanne Assoulin," 4 May 2020 The ubiquitous Callery pear trees, also known as Bradford pears, are known for their beautiful white blossoms, adorning lawns across the country and earning a place as one of the most common landscaping trees. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Here's why you should think twice before planting a Bradford pear tree," 21 Apr. 2020 That’s how Lapinou Solidaire and its partner Lapinou Confine — Caring Bunny and Quarantined Bunny, both adorned with a white mask — were born. Raf Casert,, "Bunnies to the rescue as virus hits Belgian chocolatiers," 10 Apr. 2020 Politics, and love too, are matters of this world only, metaphysical poetry has no greater application than adorning a bicep, and God really is dead. Jason Farago, The New York Review of Books, "Resistance Is Futile," 8 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for adorn

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for adorn

Last Updated

17 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Adorn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for adorn


How to pronounce adorn (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of adorn

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


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

Kids Definition of adorn

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on adorn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adorn

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with adorn

Spanish Central: Translation of adorn

Nglish: Translation of adorn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adorn for Arabic Speakers

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