embellish

verb
em·​bel·​lish | \ im-ˈbe-lish \
embellished; embellishing; embellishes

Definition of embellish

transitive verb

1 : to make beautiful with ornamentation : decorate a book embellished with illustrations
2 : to heighten the attractiveness of by adding decorative or fanciful details : enhance embellished our account of the trip

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Other Words from embellish

embellisher noun

Choose the Right Synonym for embellish

adorn, decorate, ornament, embellish, beautify, deck, garnish mean to enhance the appearance of something by adding something unessential. adorn implies an enhancing by something beautiful in itself. a diamond necklace adorned her neck decorate suggests relieving plainness or monotony by adding beauty of color or design. decorate a birthday cake ornament and embellish imply the adding of something extraneous, ornament stressing the heightening or setting off of the original a white house ornamented with green shutters , embellish often stressing the adding of superfluous or adventitious ornament. embellish a page with floral borders beautify adds to embellish a suggestion of counterbalancing plainness or ugliness. will beautify the grounds with flower beds deck implies the addition of something that contributes to gaiety, splendor, or showiness. a house all decked out for Christmas garnish suggests decorating with a small final touch and is used especially in referring to the serving of food. an entrée garnished with parsley

Did You Know?

Like its synonyms adorn, ornament, and garnish, embellish means to make something beautiful by the addition of a decorative or fanciful feature. Traditionally, the word is used specifically to stress the addition of superfluous or adventitious ornament, as in "The printer embellished the page with a floral border." Embellish differs from its synonyms, however, in that it is sometimes used in a euphemistic way to refer to the inclusion of details that are not necessarily true to make a story sound more appealing. The word derives via Middle English from the Anglo-French verb embelir, from en- and bel ("beautiful").

Examples of embellish in a Sentence

a book embellished with colorful illustrations He embellished his speech with a few quotations.

Recent Examples on the Web

The sweeping red gown featured voluminous puff sleeves embellished with over a thousand crystals. Ana Colón, Glamour, "Golden Globes 2019: Everything to Know About Chrissy Metz's Custom Tanya Taylor Gown," 6 Jan. 2019 Sophie wore a red suit embellished with beads and embroidery with a yellow dupatta, and Joe wore a light blue kurta with pink bottoms, perfectly complementing his brother and soon-to-be sister-in-law. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "Everything Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Wore During Their Wedding Celebrations," 29 Nov. 2018 The former first lady’s shows her in a a long flowing sleeveless black and white dress embellished with geometric shapes by designer Michelle Smith’s label, Milly. Katherine Skiba, chicagotribune.com, "Obamas' portraits unveiled, include official flower of Chicago," 12 Feb. 2018 With Padukone in a Sabyasachi lehenga embellished with zardosi metal embroidery paired with a khadi blouse and organza dupatta the fashion was stunning, but dancing was the night’s priority. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas End Winter Wedding Season With a Bang," 21 Dec. 2018 Now, from Atelier & Repairs’ Los Angeles workshop, a small team of specialists uses vintage and leftover fabrics to restore and embellish abandoned garments from chinos to chore jackets. Isaiah Freeman-schub, WSJ, "Each of These Tapestries Takes At Least 70 Hours to Make," 26 Oct. 2018 Oversize embellished tweed coats sported big round shoulders and exaggerated tubular arms, while black cropped pants and leggings added a relaxed vibe. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "The sea, the sea: Chanel creates beach to cap Paris season," 2 Oct. 2018 The fancy piece was from Chanel and was embellished all over with glittery sequins (Stewart has appeared in several campaigns for the fashion house and often wears the label on the red carpet). Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Only Kristen Stewart Could Pull Off a Sweater Dress on the Red Carpet," 17 Sep. 2018 The separates were beautifully embellished to match her Anmol jewelry. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas Attended Their Friend's Wedding—and Of Course They Looked Spectacular," 12 Dec. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for embellish

Middle English, from Anglo-French embeliss-, stem of embelir, from en- + bel beautiful — more at beauty

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Dictionary Entries near embellish

embedded

embelif

embelin

embellish

embellishment

ember

ember day

Statistics for embellish

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for embellish

The first known use of embellish was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for embellish

embellish

verb

English Language Learners Definition of embellish

: to decorate (something) by adding special details and features : to make (something) more appealing or attractive

embellish

verb
em·​bel·​lish | \ im-ˈbe-lish \
embellished; embellishing

Kids Definition of embellish

: decorate sense 1 Artwork embellished the book.

Other Words from embellish

embellishment \ -​mənt \ noun

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