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

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

Waking up to a fever dream of mismatched candles and decorative pillows scattered about under the glare of fluorescent lighting? Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "We Asked What Home Decor Stores People Would Live in, and the Responses Are Amazing," 3 July 2019 Designers create table linens, decorative pillows and clothing out of the textile. Elizabeth Chang, Washington Post, "The best souvenirs to bring home from 10 countries," 2 July 2019 Five decorative pillows is the ideal number for your bed to look full, but not too full. Lexie Sachs, Good Housekeeping, "How to Make a Bed Like a Professional, According to Bedding Experts," 28 June 2019 The first floor is impeccable, with a formal living room — elegant decorative boxes arranged on a handsome coffee table — a cozy sunroom and a gleaming kitchen with green tile countertops. Emily Bazelon, New York Times, "Elizabeth Warren Is Completely Serious," 17 June 2019 Trinkets, including decorative boxes, are neatly arranged on table tops, shelves and cabinets. Louisville Courier Journal, The Courier-Journal, "Blast from the past: This Glenmary home is a collector's paradise," 28 June 2018 Barbara Capuano, a board member, drops off the decorative boxes at Windsor schools. Dennis Hohenberger, Courant Community, "Annual Walk Raises Funds For Grief Counseling Services," 16 May 2018 Wainscoting, trim work and decorative planter boxes tie the scheme together. Courtney Dabney, star-telegram, "'Sexy Mexican' Maíz in Mansfield has some big names from the dining scene behind it | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 9 Apr. 2018 This includes decorative objects crafted in gold, silver and ivory, furnishings, historic photographs and relics from sacred Buddhist sites. Carolina A. Miranda,, "Datebook: A museum show explores what was showing on TV in the days of the U.S.S.R.," 20 June 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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Statistics for decorative

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

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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 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

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).


food or victuals

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