em·​broi·​der | \ im-ˈbrȯi-dər How to pronounce embroider (audio) \
embroidered; embroidering\ im-​ˈbrȯi-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce embroidering (audio) \

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 How to pronounce embroiderer (audio) \ 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 The dead woman was skinny, wearing black sweatpants and a gray denim western shirt embroidered with red and black flowers, still wet from the night's rainstorm. Meagan Flynn, chicagotribune.com, "Wisconsin cold case solved when anonymous tipster said Florida woman talked about killing someone in Illinois 20 years ago, police say," 12 Nov. 2019 The project was a huge, queen-size quilt made up of 100 hexagon pieces -- 50 of them embroidered with a design for every US state and 50 stars. Konstantin Toropin, CNN, "A woman found an unfinished, 20-year-old quilt and complete strangers are helping piece it together," 25 Oct. 2019 Treats and toys can be found in the mini-bar, and towels embroidered with Sasha’s adorable face are available for purchase for $25, all of which goes directly to Country Road Animal Rescue. Paul Rubio, Condé Nast Traveler, "16 Pet-Friendly Hotels That Both Dogs and Humans Will Love," 1 Oct. 2019 The bed in the chamber adjoining and opening into the Blue Room is of antique oak, and is covered with a pale-blue silk quilt and shams, embroidered with art needlework in subdued colors. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: An 1887 tour of the Villa Montezuma," 29 Sep. 2019 The first issue, from October 2017, features the work of Elizabeth Fernanda Rodriguez, an Arlington artist who transfers old family photographs to cloth, then embroiders them. Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post, "‘Tiny chunk of beauty’: D.C. art zine La Horchata lifts Central American voices," 8 Nov. 2019 Her fiber scarves and clothing have been naturally dyed, handwoven and embroidered. Anchorage Daily News, "Fall into First Friday this November," 31 Oct. 2019 All apparel is designed, embroidered and printed in Connecticut. Deborah Hornblow, courant.com, "12 holiday gift ideas: This year, give local," 23 Oct. 2019 Ms Ham produces images and texts digitally and sends them via middle men in China or Russia to be embroidered by women in North Korea. J.u-s., The Economist, "South Korean artists explore the DMZ," 22 Oct. 2019

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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Time Traveler for embroider

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for embroider

Last Updated

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Embroider.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embroiders. Accessed 9 December 2019.

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More Definitions for embroider


How to pronounce embroider (audio)

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 How to pronounce embroider (audio) \
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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