dec·​o·​ra·​tive ˈde-k(ə-)rə-tiv How to pronounce decorative (audio)
: serving to decorate
especially : purely ornamental
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 Advertisement Colorful icicle lights draped from decorative truss towers will be on the carrier’s flight deck and nearly a dozen of the Midway’s aircraft will be wrapped in holiday lights. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 Nov. 2023 Benedict, meanwhile, is an expert colorist, a dab hand with print who knows all about decorative drama. Grace McCloud, Vogue, 21 Nov. 2023 Three of the four shelves have a 12-inch clearance that may limit taller decorative items. Kristina McGuirk, Better Homes & Gardens, 20 Nov. 2023 The traditional-looking chairs are slightly distressed and have decorative legs that give a nod to the French country aesthetic. Sanah Faroke, Peoplemag, 16 Nov. 2023 These builds turn into jewelry, decorative items, and actually useful bits of storage, like this adorable little drawer that can be customized to your child’s preferences and then used to hold all of their treasures. Sarah Bradley, Parents, 16 Nov. 2023 Committed to the notion that style can be responsible, the Rochelle Porter Lotus decorative pillow is Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) certified and mindfully made. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 15 Nov. 2023 Its elegant design adds style and sophistication, while the surface provides the perfect space to display your favorite decorative items. Theresa Johnson, Rolling Stone, 15 Nov. 2023 Using the tines of a fork, press dough around piecrust edge to make a decorative design. Nancie McDermott, Southern Living, 8 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'decorative.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1791, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of decorative was in 1791

Dictionary Entries Near decorative

Cite this Entry

“Decorative.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


dec·​o·​ra·​tive ˈdek-(ə-)rət-iv How to pronounce decorative (audio)
: serving to decorate : ornamental
decoratively adverb
decorativeness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on decorative

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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