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

And all that embroidery took a lot of time: Per the magazine, more than 10 embroiderers worked a combined total of 75 hours to embellish the dress's almost 46 feet of tulle with more than 650,000 stitches. Krystin Arneson, Glamour, "Every Single Detail We Know About Sophie Turner's Custom Louis Vuitton Wedding Dress," 6 July 2019 Railroad tycoon Joseph Stickney commissioned 250 Italian craftsmen to embellish his hotel with stained glass windows, elaborate molding, and intricate woodwork. Joe Yogerst, National Geographic, "These historic lodges are the perfect way to see North America’s wild parks," 2 July 2019 The clue is in the name: the exterior of the book has been embellished with 100 carats of diamonds set into the wood cover. Daniel Golson, Car and Driver, "Bentley's Coffee-Table Book Costs Over $250,000 and Is Covered in Diamonds," 17 May 2019 Kitted out with marble tables and ’70s-style globe pendant lamps, Po is known for embellishing homestyle classics. Robyn Eckhardt, WSJ, "Two Strategic Days in Singapore: Where to Splurge, Where to Save," 4 Jan. 2019 It was embellished with over 120,000 Swarovski crystals, and over 20 craftspeople–from embroiderers to seamstresses and pattern makers at the Elie Saab atelier in Beirut [worked on the gown]. Tamara Abraham, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Wedding Is Part Royal Wedding and Part French Riviera Fairytale," 23 July 2018 Every storyteller’s temptation is to embellish—to make the tale more vivid, dramatic, entertaining. Lance Morrow, WSJ, "Trump-Russia Made for Gripping Fiction," 26 Mar. 2019 Collect seashells to embellish a fireplace surround. 3. House Beautiful, "15 Easy Upgrade Ideas For Your House," 1 May 2013 But remember, anecdotes can easily be embellished or falsified. Abby Langer, SELF, "Most Diets Don't Work, But If a Diet Promises These 4 Things, Run Away," 5 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

15 Jul 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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