\ 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 French rule would lift Egypt, then part of the Ottoman Empire, out of tyranny and into prosperity, and modern France would adorn itself with pharaonic glory. Ursula Lindsey, The New York Review of Books, "Ancient Egypt for the Egyptians," 27 Apr. 2021 To fill his many commissions, Vespasiano hired not only copyists but also artists to illuminate and adorn the leaves, including a gifted hermit who worked contentedly from his hillside cave. Ernest Hilbert, WSJ, "‘The Bookseller of Florence’ Review: Manuscripts and Medicis," 23 Apr. 2021 The items, including lanterns and festive banners, adorn her front lawn and porch, along with a 7-foot reclining Buddha and two apsaras (Asian female spirits) made by her artist friend Michelle Humphreys Burk. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "Fiesta's King William Parade 2021 pulls a Mardi Gras with a 'parade' of house floats on display in south San Antonio," 13 Apr. 2021 Rich, textured fabrics including tweed, velvet and handmade Irish linen, have been used for upholstery, drapery and soft furnishings, while eclectic artwork by emerging artists adorn the walls. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, "Behind The Scenes At The Grove: Martin Hulbert Reveals His Stylish Hotel Redesign," 19 Apr. 2021 The Salt Lake Tribune l-r Photos of Father E.J. Flanagan and Charles Kenworthy, owner John Kenworthy's grandfather, adorn the walls at Flanigan's on Main. Kathy Stephenson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Ski season is done and these Park City restaurants will take a spring break," 14 Apr. 2021 The restaurant, where majestic Ethiopian portraits adorn the yellow walls, is named for Ethiopia’s capital city, where owners Misrak Gandi and her husband, Zemene Afework, were born and raised. Globe Staff,, "3 places we supported this week," 2 Mar. 2021 Dimo knows patrons on a first name basis — many University of Michigan athletes (past and present) whose autographed pictures adorn the walls of his business. Carol Cain, Detroit Free Press, "3 businesses find a sweet spot during the COVID-19 pandemic," 22 Nov. 2020 One or two designs will be chosen to be turned into templates included in kits that residents will use to adorn drains. Gloria Casas,, "Painting in the streets," 10 Apr. 2021

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

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Adorn.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 May. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on adorn

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for adorn

Nglish: Translation of adorn for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of adorn for Arabic Speakers

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