embellish

verb
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

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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 establishment also embellishes its Thanksgiving menu to include its popular Salty Honey pie, a sweet-meets-salty affair. Charles Passy, WSJ, "Dessert Chefs Reinterpret Pie Traditions, Piece by Piece," 20 Nov. 2018 From Kim Kardashian’s cur-our silk tank dress to Kendall’s black patent strapless look, Khloé’s embellished silver pants and crop top and Jordyn Woods’ gold halter mini, here are all the can’t miss looks of the night. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "The Best Looks from Kylie Jenner's 21st Birthday Party," 11 Aug. 2018 The chain had a cultish following for its head-to-toe outfits that were embellished with embroidery and designed around whimsical themes. Suzanne Kapner, WSJ, "Gymboree Has a New Look, and Some Parents Aren’t Pleased," 19 July 2018 To complete her all-white ensemble, Middleton paired the elegant dress with a dainty white hair topper by Jane Taylor that was embellished with white flowers. Cady Lang, Time, "Kate Middleton Wore an Elegant All-White Ensemble to Prince Louis' Royal Christening," 9 July 2018 Elizabeth’s dress was made from ivory silk and embellished with 10,000 pearls. Jennifer Hassan, Washington Post, "Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and the pressures of royal wedding traditions," 16 May 2018 The star wore mesh and gold bedazzled bodysuit, and embellished her locks with an intricate jeweled headpiece, which matched the jewels that were strewn across her body. Jillian Ruffo, PEOPLE.com, "Jennifer Lopez Wears 50-Inch Hair Extensions to the Billboard Latin Music Awards," 27 Apr. 2018 The head-turning-boots cost a cool $10,000 and are embellished with a subtle 6,000 rhinestones. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kendall Jenner Wore the $10,000 Sparkly Saint Laurent Boots to a Basketball Game, As One Does," 6 Nov. 2017 Florals were everywhere else at the party too, from the wallpaper print and arrangements to the guests, who came wearing dresses in floral prints or embellished with appliqués. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "It Sure Looks Like Jessica Simpson Revealed Her Daughter's Name at Her Baby Shower," 20 Jan. 2019

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

25 Feb 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 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

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