dec·​o·​ra·​tive | \ ˈde-k(ə-)rə-tiv How to pronounce decorative (audio) , ˈde-kə-ˌrā- \

Definition of decorative

: serving to decorate especially : purely ornamental

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Other Words from decorative

decoratively adverb
decorativeness noun

Examples of decorative in a Sentence

We added some decorative details to the room. The handles are decorative and practical.
Recent Examples on the Web Fuchsia: All kinds of fuchsia flowers are edible, and mighty decorative, too. Pam Peirce,, "Edible flowers for your garden and dinner table," 7 Feb. 2020 Whether decorative or utilitarian, there is nothing more attractive or efficient than natural fur. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Fur is the ultimate insulator, but there are fewer trappers in Alaska these days," 18 Jan. 2020 Golden Ginger Cake Imagine for a second that gingerbread was not dense or decorative, but light, fluffy and impossibly delicious. The New York Times News Service Syndicate, The Denver Post, "Desserts that bring the party, but not the fuss," 21 Dec. 2019 Men in elaborate and decorative braids—cornrows, box braids, or otherwise—is not a new concept. Shalwah Evans, Essence, "What I Double-Tapped This Weekend: The Braid Debate," 25 Nov. 2019 The figure would be customized through different poses and by adding different decorative elements, like crowns and flower hats. National Geographic, "These lovely little statues enchanted ancient Greece," 29 Jan. 2020 Built between 1883 and 1885 the turrets and tiles of the exterior, which reveal Moorish influences, alongside decorative wrought ironwork and playful statues reveal his unique creativity. Houston Chronicle, "City pool opens for summer; extensive renovations complete," 26 May 2018 Better yet, forgo the wrapping paper altogether and use decorative boxes, tins and baskets that can be reused year after year. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "Americans produce 25% more trash during the holidays. These tips might help.," 2 Dec. 2019 Simply trade in your plain water cup for a colorful sub-in, or go all out with decorative boxes, a modern alarm clock, and a cute journal for late-night thoughts. Stacia Affelt, Country Living, "6 Quick and Gorgeous Ways to Make Over Your Bedroom This Weekend," 17 July 2019

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

1791, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for decorative

Time Traveler

The first known use of decorative was in 1791

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Statistics for decorative

Last Updated

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Decorative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for decorative


How to pronounce decorative (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of decorative

: used to make something more attractive : used for decoration


dec·​o·​ra·​tive | \ ˈde-kə-rə-tiv How to pronounce decorative (audio) , ˈde-krə- \

Kids Definition of decorative

: serving to improve appearance : ornamental Decorative banners were hung for the fair.

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More from Merriam-Webster on decorative

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for decorative

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decorative

Spanish Central: Translation of decorative

Nglish: Translation of decorative for Spanish Speakers

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