em·​bel·​lish | \ im-ˈbe-lish How to pronounce embellish (audio) \
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

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?

Embellish is related to the French word for "beautiful," bel, and, traditionally, it has been used to imply beautifying an object with the addition of things unessential. That's still true; however, it is equally appealing as an adjective for making statements or stories sound more entertaining.

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 Golden images of mythical gods and creatures embellish the ceiling, holding staffs, blowing horns, and spreading their wings. Matthew Healey, BostonGlobe.com, 12 Apr. 2022 Alabama State Senator Tim Melson, R-Florence, an anesthesiologist who championed the legislation to legalize medical marijuana last year, also accused James of trying to embellish the law to create a political wedge issue in the governor’s race. al, 26 Mar. 2022 POOL/REUTERS Presidents typically embellish their achievements during their State of the Union addresses, but President Biden’s pose as a budget deficit hawk is one for the ages. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 2 Mar. 2022 Pomellato More than 750 diamonds totaling 15.30 carats embellish the 18-karat white gold of the La Gioia Sabbia Tie Chain; $90,500, at Pomellato, Beverly Hills Tiffany & Co. Laurie Brookins, The Hollywood Reporter, 26 Mar. 2022 Those clients are looking to reduce leaks and therefore losses, and embellish their environmental bona fides. Jim Morrison, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Jan. 2022 But in the first or second sentence, his mind would be seized by an image (jaunty, visual, arresting), and pretty soon the seductive analogy would take over the story altogether, hijacking the news report that it was intended merely to embellish. Lance Morrow, WSJ, 27 Dec. 2021 Spinners, statues, and wind chimes help embellish the natural landscape. Leanne Potts, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Dec. 2021 But he was never tempted to include talking heads who might embellish or distort stories. Stuart Miller, Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for embellish

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

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Last Updated

16 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Embellish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embellish. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for embellish


em·​bel·​lish | \ im-ˈbe-lish How to pronounce embellish (audio) \
embellished; embellishing

Kids Definition of embellish

: decorate sense 1 Artwork embellished the book.

Other Words from embellish

embellishment \ -​mənt \ noun

More from Merriam-Webster on embellish

Nglish: Translation of embellish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of embellish for Arabic Speakers


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