dec·​o·​ra·​tive | \ˈde-k(ə-)rə-tiv, ˈde-kə-ˌrā-\

Definition of decorative 

: serving to decorate especially : purely ornamental

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Other Words from decorative

decoratively adverb
decorativeness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for decorative


adorning, beautifying, cosmetic, embellishing, ornamental


functional, utilitarian

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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

The line features bedding, decorative pillows, and curtains in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures. Megan Friedman, House Beautiful, "‘Pioneer Woman’ Star Ree Drummond’s Fall Bedding Line Perfectly Captures Her Style," 25 Oct. 2018 From overhang, with 3/4-inch decorative cookie cutter, cut 40 shapes, rerolling if necessary, for decorating rim of pie later. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Brown Sugar Pecan Pie," 23 Oct. 2018 Or set up a stocking holder that doubles as a decorative piece fit for any home. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Christmas Tree Shops Just Released Its Holiday Decor and We Want Everything," 13 Oct. 2018 But the score of figurative, abstract, high-concept and decorative pieces from the last hundred-odd years that Mr. Fischli has pulled out of the museum’s permanent collection to show alongside the painting really do answer the question. New York Times, "The Art of Staying Cool: 10 Can’t-Miss Summer Shows in New York," 4 July 2018 Key features: Beautiful Indian Village house with extensive gardens front and back, a koi pond and a new decorative wood fence. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, "Indian Village home with gardens, koi pond is groomed to the gills," 19 May 2018 For Oquendo, having a storage unit full of makeup—with fairy lights and decorative lanterns to boot—was a necessity. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "Go Inside Celebrity Makeup Artist Vincent Oquendo's Dreamy Beauty Stash," 23 Oct. 2018 The most unique is the Advanced Electrodeposition (AED) finish, which looks like a matte ceramic finish and is durable as well as decorative. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "The HP Chromebook x360 14 is a premium convertible missing one thing," 8 Oct. 2018 My two favorite stacks are the utilitarian end-pillar and a decorative German type known as a holzhaus, or wood house, which makes a smaller footprint than the end-pillar stack with the same volume of material. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Right Way to Stack Firewood," 28 Sep. 2018

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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Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for decorative

The first known use of decorative was in 1791

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More Definitions for decorative



English Language Learners Definition of decorative

: used to make something more attractive : used for decoration


dec·​o·​ra·​tive | \ˈde-kə-rə-tiv, 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with decorative

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for decorative

Spanish Central: Translation of decorative

Nglish: Translation of decorative for Spanish Speakers

Comments on decorative

What made you want to look up decorative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

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