\ 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

Jessica paired the romantic gown with gold Chanel T-strap sandals adorned with stars and pearls, vintage Miriam Haskell jewelry from an antique shop in Michigan, and a cathedral-length veil by Daphne Newman. Brooke Porter Katz, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Couple Took Over a Small Town in Italy for Their Medieval-Inspired Wedding," 28 Feb. 2019 Getting into the holiday spirit just isn't the same if an evergreen isn't standing tall in the living room, dressed in homemade ornaments, bright lights, and adorned with a magical tree topper. Nicol Natale, Woman's Day, "Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?," 15 Nov. 2018 When Scarlett Johansson adorns Ghost In The Shell posters and Emma Stone plays an Asian character in Aloha, the release of a major all-Asian film feels like an antidote to the whitewashing that Hollywood is notorious for. Kirsten Han, Vox, "Crazy Rich Asians is a win for Asian Americans. But it gets Singapore wrong.," 17 Aug. 2018 An inflatable Stanley Cup hangs from the ceiling; an Alex Ovechkin sweater adorns the back wall behind the bar in between two flat-screen TVs tuned in to the game. Katherine Fominykh,, "Baltimorean Capitals fans show D.C. divide isn't so wide during Stanley Cup finals," 31 May 2018 On the streets, his face adorns wall after wall, a reminder of his status as Egypt's ambassador to the world. James Masters, Mary Rogers And Housam Ahmed, CNN, "'Mohamed Salah? He's like the Sphinx and the Pyramids'," 1 May 2018 At the rear, a diffuser-like finisher is bracketed by those large oval tailpipes, and a small, gloss-black lip spoiler adorns the trunk lid. Jim Resnick, Ars Technica, "The 2018 Audi RS5: Effortless speed and a magic carpet ride," 7 Apr. 2018 Her face adorns t-shirts and socks across the country. Andy Staples,, "Sister Jean is Embracing Her Role as the Face of Loyola-Chicago, NCAA Tournament," 30 Mar. 2018 Toile de Jouy fabric adorns the walls, and a silk Oriental rug offers a shock of ruby red. Kari Costas, ELLE Decor, "The Suite Life: Contemporary Style Meets Old World Charm At The Grand Ferdinand Hotel," 20 Mar. 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

23 Mar 2019

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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

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with adorn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adorn

Spanish Central: Translation of adorn

Nglish: Translation of adorn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adorn for Arabic Speakers

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).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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