decorate

verb
dec·​o·​rate | \ˈde-kə-ˌrāt \
decorated; decorating

Definition of decorate 

transitive verb

1 : to add honor to decorated commerce with the splendid virtues of honor and loyalty— Geoffrey Household

2 : to furnish with something ornamental decorate a room with artwork decorating the Christmas tree

3 : to award a mark of honor to a soldier decorated for valor highly decorated war veterans

intransitive verb

: to furnish something with ornamentation decorating for the party

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Choose the Right Synonym for decorate

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 decorate in a Sentence

I always enjoy decorating the Christmas tree. I decorated my apartment in dark colors.

Recent Examples on the Web

One American, apparently the son of Russian or Eastern European immigrants, drafted the truce offering in rough Russian on Knights of Columbus stationery decorated with an American flag. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, "The One Time American Troops Fought Russians Was at the End of World War I—and They Lost," 9 Nov. 2018 After offering up an autograph, newfound witches and warlocks could pay their respects at a Satanic alter decorated with bones of all shapes and sizes, ghastly candles, and of course, skulls. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "The "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Spellman House Was a Spooky Adventure Fit for Instagram," 26 Oct. 2018 Her Majesty's look was completed by a matching hat decorated with cream flowers, one of her beloved Launer handbags, and black patent shoes. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "Queen Elizabeth II Wore Pale Blue to Princess Eugenie's Royal Wedding," 12 Oct. 2018 Whereas some struggle with choosing ancient textiles or decorating with antiques, Joo thrives. Danielle Fox, ELLE Decor, "Inside a TriBeCa Loft Filled with Not-Your-Grandmother’s Antiques," 9 Oct. 2018 Both publications discovered that similar decorations called podłaźnikiem, made with the top of a spruce tree and decorated with cookies, fruit, and paper chains, were suspended from ceilings of some Slavic homes. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Those Upside-Down Christmas Trees Everyone's Flipping for Actually Go Way Back," 25 Sep. 2018 While World Cup fans pack the St. Petersburg Stadium fantasizing of soccer victory, Pyotr Voskresensky and fellow gay rights activists follow the matches in a quiet gallery across town decorated with beanbags and astroturf. Washington Post, "Hosting World Cup makes Russia more gay-friendly — for now," 30 June 2018 Try a sprinkle-coated or dipped cone, or a scoop of ice cream decorated with a cheerful candy face. Annie Zaleski, Cincinnati.com, "See Cincinnati with fresh eyes and visit these 7 postcard-worthy sites," 29 June 2018 Many bikes had been decorated with patriotic themes. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Family entertainment abounds in Bel Air on July 4," 4 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'decorate.' 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 decorate

1530, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for decorate

Latin decoratus, past participle of decorare, from decor-, decus ornament, honor — more at decent

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Learn More about decorate

Statistics for decorate

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for decorate

The first known use of decorate was in 1530

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More Definitions for decorate

decorate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of decorate

: to make (something) more attractive usually by putting something on it

: to give a medal or award to (someone, such as a soldier)

decorate

verb
dec·​o·​rate | \ˈde-kə-ˌrāt \
decorated; decorating

Kids Definition of decorate

1 : to make more attractive by adding beautiful or festive things We decorated the room with flowers.

2 : to award a badge of honor to The soldier was decorated for bravery.

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Comments on decorate

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