\ 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 The cabinets were painted vibrant blue, and antique Portuguese plates adorn the walls. Sofia Quintero, ELLE Decor, 3 Aug. 2022 Artworks often adorn our walls and sit on our mantels and shelves. Jamie Gold, Forbes, 17 May 2022 Championship banners for such winners as Evil Geniuses and powerhouse Team SoloMid adorn the walls. Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2022 Nostalgic murals and artwork adorn the walls of the space. Anne Nickoloff, cleveland, 9 Mar. 2022 Billboards of Gu posing for brands adorn the walls of supermarkets, elevators, subway stations and airports. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, 13 Feb. 2022 Original works by Shyama Golden, the hotel's 2021 Featured Artist, adorn the walls in both the sitting area and the bedroom of the suite — whimsical, decorative, colorful art. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 24 Jan. 2022 In his office, black-and-white pictures of his family, along with hats donned by his father and grandfather, both Utahns, adorn the walls. Alixel Cabrera, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Oct. 2021 In the lounge, positioned above the DJ booth, skulls adorn the wall. Melinda Sheckells, The Hollywood Reporter, 25 July 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

Buying Guide

Our Reviews team has selected the best irons.

Learn More About adorn

Time Traveler for adorn

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near adorn




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for adorn

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Adorn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!