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 Gentileschi’s costume, including the lovely blue with its fine gold embroidery, are characteristically Florentine. Washington Post, "Self-Portrait as a Lute Player, ca. 1615-1618," 20 May 2020 Take Up a Needle and Thread Tap into the nostalgia of the cottagecore trend with traditional crafts, such as embroidery, knitting, and crocheting. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "6 Ways to Try the Cottagecore Trend for a Taste of the Simple Life," 18 May 2020 Along with Elva and Mama, Freida Bauer was one of the few people who supported Cay’s interest in embroidery. David Canfield, EW.com, "First look: Disney's epic new fairy-tale series begins with Julie C. Dao's magical Broken Wish," 13 Apr. 2020 Emerald green and covered in sequin embroidery, the oversized wool coat and matching dress combo made an impression when it was first seen on model Guinevere Van Seenus during London Fashion Week. Vogue, "Meghan Markle’s Latest Style Moment Comes Straight From the Fall Runways," 11 Mar. 2019 Wild Rose Embroidered Mesh Triple Kick Sneaker This sneaker features a 1-inch platform for extra lift and is covered with colorful embroidery on sheer mesh side panels. Jenna Sims, Southern Living, "The New Rifle Paper Co. and Keds Collaboration Will Put A Spring in Your Step," 3 Apr. 2020 For the young Potterhead: This Hogwarts Tulle Dress is perfect for the holidays With its detailed embroidery, fluffy sleeves, and sparkly neckline, this Hogwarts Enchanted Tulle Dress from Boden is absolutely adorable and perfect for any occasion. Ashley Barry-biancuzzo, USA TODAY, "The 20 best gifts for nerds of 2019," 12 Nov. 2019 Cross-stitch and embroidery are cheap and easy to learn, the process is meditative, and the end result is beautiful. The Editors, Outside Online, "The Media We're Consuming During Social Distancing," 23 Mar. 2020 Since the 1980s, luxury brands have quietly outsourced much of their embroidery work to India. Phyllida Jay, New York Times, "Luxury’s Hidden Indian Supply Chain," 11 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for embroidery

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

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Statistics for embroidery

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Embroidery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embroidery. Accessed 5 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for embroidery


How to pronounce embroidery (audio)

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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