em·​broi·​der | \ im-ˈbrȯi-dər \
embroidered; embroidering\ im-​ˈbrȯi-​d(ə-​)riŋ \

Definition of embroider 

transitive verb

1a : to ornament with needlework
b : to form with needlework
2 : to elaborate on : embellish embroider a story

intransitive verb

1 : to make embroidery
2 : to provide embellishments : elaborate

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Other Words from embroider

embroiderer \ im-​ˈbrȯi-​dər-​ər \ noun

Examples of embroider in a Sentence

She embroidered tiny flowers on the baby's scarf. a scarf embroidered with tiny flowers He is known to embroider the truth about his service in the army.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Wearing a costume with a small, close-fitting blazer and embroidered with a flower, mirroring Charlie Chaplin's iconic look, Fernandez performed to the soundtrack of Chaplin's 1936 film Modern Times during the men's shorts program. Katie Kilkenny, Billboard, "Javier Fernandez Channels Charlie Chaplin During Olympics Figure Skating Competition," 16 Feb. 2018 The myriad interlocking crystal embroideries, meanwhile, were said to mirror cobblestones and netted tulle, embroidered with gold, evoked lovers’ padlocks on the Pont des Arts (that were famously banned by Paris authorities). Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Chanel recreates Paris for couture show celebrating the city," 3 July 2018 It was also designed by Waight Keller and was embroidered with the flora of all 53 countries of the Commonwealth. Kate Storey, Town & Country, "How Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's Wedding Compares to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's," 12 Oct. 2018 Kensington Palace confirmed Markle requested Wintersweetwhich and California Poppy flowers be embroidered into the veil — a nod to the native blooms of her English residence at Nottingham Cottage and home state of California. Zoe Szathmary, Fox News, "Meghan Markle reacts to royal wedding dress in Queen Elizabeth II documentary trailer," 19 Sep. 2018 In the professional portrait, Kardashian West — who was around the age of 14 at the time the photo was taken — styled her long, dark locks straight and wore a white polo shirt, which was embroidered with her school’s name. Natalie Stone, PEOPLE.com, "See a Preteen Kim Kardashian West in Her Catholic School Photo from 8th Grade!," 7 May 2018 And the quality and quantity of imagination with which this parable of paradox has been embroidered is beautiful to see. Charles Champlin, latimes.com, "More than 50 years later, 'The King of Hearts' remains a sadly apt take on war and madness," 8 Mar. 2018 Made of silk from a British mill, the embroidered and draped design gave Princess Eugenie a totally different second look for her evening party. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "See Princess Eugenie's Second Wedding Dress," 13 Oct. 2018 Predictably, there’s also an American flag embroidered onto one of the sleeves. Mekita Rivas, Teen Vogue, "Donald Trump's Campaign Is Selling “Stand Up For America” Football Jerseys," 10 Oct. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for embroider

alteration of Middle English embroderen, from Anglo-French embrouder, from en- + brosder, brouder to embroider, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English brord point, byrst bristle

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Statistics for embroider

Last Updated

9 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for embroider

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

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More Definitions for embroider



English Language Learners Definition of embroider

: to sew a design on a piece of cloth

: to make (a story, the truth, etc.) more interesting by adding details that are not true or accurate


em·​broi·​der | \ im-ˈbrȯi-dər \
embroidered; embroidering

Kids Definition of embroider

1 : to make with needlework She embroidered her initials.
2 : to decorate with needlework I'm embroidering a tablecloth.
3 : to make more interesting by exaggerating or adding details The story had been … embroidered in so many places, that nobody was quite sure what the truth was anymore.— J. K. Rowling, Goblet of Fire

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Comments on embroider

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marked by shyness and lack of polish

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