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

Larger, decorative pieces may run higher, like $150. Caitlin Mullen,, "'It's art that's to be used': Oak Park pottery shop owner says his creations are not meant to be locked away," 12 June 2018 Slim slabs of gray slate bejeweled with decorative pieces of stone hang along one section of the narrow, rectangular room. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "The Grape Leaf's food - and patio - will take you to the Mediterranean," 6 June 2018 Matteo sourced all original decorative pieces over a period of time and thoughtfully decided where everything was placed. Jennifer Rice, Vogue, "This Florentine Hotel Has Secret Garden-Views of Europe’s Largest Private Green Space," 13 Apr. 2018 In the unit, the listing promises high ceilings, air conditioning, hardwood flooring, a small kitchenette, a decorative fireplace and a large porch. charlotteobserver, "The cheapest rental apartments in Dilworth, explored | Charlotte Observer," 21 Mar. 2018 Filled with oak details, the 5-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom townhouse features original pocket and wood doors, sophisticated crown molding, wainscoting and six original decorative mantel fireplaces. Kelsey Kloss, ELLE Decor, "Bob Dylan's Former Harlem Home Is Now For Sale," 2 Mar. 2017 For many readers, books are not decorative objects. New York Times, "Letters to the Editor," 15 June 2018 In addition to the sunflower seeds, a stand of annual sunflowers will produce attractive 3-inch blooms that are decorative and a good source of nectar for butterflies and hummingbirds. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "Your guide to foliage fit to feed the birds," 1 June 2018 The show, nine galleries brimming with more than 250 paintings and decorative objects and organized by a team of curators from the Kimbell Art Museum, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and the MFA, is on view through Oct. 8. Cate Mcquaid,, "MFA’s ‘Casanova’ a voluptuous look at a notorious voluptuary," 6 July 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

4 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for decorative

The first known use of decorative was in 1791

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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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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).


not any or not one

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