em·​broi·​dery | \ im-ˈbrȯi-d(ə-)rē How to pronounce embroidery (audio) \
plural embroideries

Definition of embroidery

1a : the art or process of forming decorative designs with hand or machine needlework
b : a design or decoration formed by or as if by embroidery
c : an object decorated with embroidery
2 : elaboration by use of decorative and often fictitious detail
3 : something pleasing or desirable but unimportant considered the humanities mere educational embroidery

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Synonyms for embroidery



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Examples of embroidery in a Sentence

She learned embroidery from her grandmother. His stories about his travels include a good deal of embroidery.

Recent Examples on the Web

Machine embroidery at Ramona Senior Center, 8 to 11:30 a.m., 434 Aqua Lane, 760-789-0440. Ramona Sentinel, "Our Town Calendar of Events: June 6-12," 5 June 2019 The story goes like this: Given the extreme measurements (some fifty pounds of embroidery and a 16-foot train), Rihanna had to take a stretch limo to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Maria Ward, Vogue, "The Most Elaborate Trains in Met Gala Red Carpet History: Rihanna, Sarah Jessica Parker, and More," 23 Apr. 2019 Her couture dress had feathers and beautiful black and gold embroidery. Kate Young, Vogue, "Inside Stylist Kate Young’s Star-Studded Met Gala Prep," 10 May 2019 Indian brides are expected to transform into Bollywood stars for a day or more, which usually means wearing a midriff-baring dress with lots of colors and heavy embroidery. Rashna Shetty, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Fat-Eliminating Treatment That Helped Me Slim Down Before My Wedding," 8 Feb. 2019 Now, the art of sinking ink is extending into stitching: Known as embroidery or needlepoint tattoos, these aren’t your grandma’s pillow samplers—though some tats might well be mistaken for them. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "These Embroidery Tattoos are Jaw-Droppingly Realistic," 10 Apr. 2019 And there is a coat of Prince of Wales check in which the skirt is covered in a swirly, ruffled embroidery made from the scraps of selvage edges left on the cutting room floor. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "The Top 10 Collections of the Fall 2019 Season," 8 Mar. 2019 The mint-green ensemble featured white floral embroidery, complementing the rose detail on her clutch. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Meghan Markle's Mom Doria Ragland Sounds Like the Coolest Person Ever," 6 Mar. 2019 Millie wore a strapless navy dress with silver detailing and complimented the delicate embroidery with a pair of strappy sandals in the same metallic shade. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Millie Bobby Brown and Sadie Sink Were Homecoming Outfit Goals at a Pre-Emmy's Party," 17 Sep. 2018

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

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

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Statistics for embroidery

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for embroidery

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

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More Definitions for embroidery



English Language Learners Definition of embroidery

: the process or art of sewing a design on cloth
: cloth decorated by sewing : embroidered material
: extra details that are added to make a story more interesting and that are not true or accurate


em·​broi·​dery | \ im-ˈbrȯi-də-rē How to pronounce embroidery (audio) \
plural embroideries

Kids Definition of embroidery

1 : needlework done to decorate cloth
2 : the act or art of embroidering

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Comments on embroidery

What made you want to look up embroidery? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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