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 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 The bride looked chic in her light blue Indian suit which was intricately embellished, while Jonas donned pink and cream for the occasion. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' Wedding Festivities Have Started with a Puja," 28 Nov. 2018 The living areas, for example, are embellished with vertical fluted columns, handmade cornice moulding, starburst chandelier medallions, even several swoopy modillions. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, "Dale Evans’ Uvalde home for sale — but needs tons of work," 25 Apr. 2018 Nearly every aspect of the boutique oasis is one-of-a-kind, including what's sure to be the It bag of the season: a limited-edition, embellished 2.55 shoulder bag that's exclusive to the 57th street store. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Chanel's New Flagship Store Will Sell Limited-Edition Bags, Fragrances, and Watches," 15 Nov. 2018 Savannah also got the pastel memo and wore a pale blue and gold embellished dress with a bold feather fringe hemline. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Wait Until You See What Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie from 'Today' Wore to the Emmys," 18 Sep. 2018 The exterior of Westminster Abbey is embellished with a profusion of decorative images, reflecting the enthusiasm of Henry III. Richard Cork, WSJ, "A New Perspective on Westminster Abbey," 28 Aug. 2018 Model Lotta-Liina Mikaela channeled the season's free-spirited vibes by supplementing a smattering of natural freckles with a constellation of multicolored glitter, embellishing an organic complexion with a share of party-ready whimsy. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "The 10 Best Beauty Instagrams of the Week: Kylie Jenner Shows Off the Manicure of the Moment (and More!)," 26 Aug. 2018 The next morning, Cunanan tells the story of his encounter with Versace to his friend-slash-roommate Lizzie and her husband, embellishing the details a bit. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Fashion Recap: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Episode 1," 18 Jan. 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

16 Dec 2018

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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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