em·​broi·​der | \ im-ˈbrȯi-dər How to pronounce embroider (audio) \
embroidered; embroidering\ im-​ˈbrȯi-​d(ə-​)riŋ How to pronounce embroider (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 embroider (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 There are only three basic requirements to be part of Bordamos Feminicidios, and for Minerva to assign you a story to embroider. Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, "‘Transforming Craft Into An Act of Protest’: Embroidery In Response to Femicide in Mexico," 25 Nov. 2020 Buyers also have the option to embroider a personalized message onto the mask, allowing for gifting options. Hanna Horvath, NBC News, "How to shop for face masks on Etsy, according to experts," 10 June 2020 SmileyHugs are hand sewn, embroidered and needle-felted in a rustic style using eco-friendly, high quality 100% merino wool felt, 100% wool felt stuffing and 100% cotton thread. oregonlive, "10 ways to calm people and pets during a pandemic: Oregon-made SmileyHugs comfort," 12 May 2020 Fans of the brand will appreciate the signature embroidered pony logo, as well as the variety of colorways ranging from classic Newport Navy to the lighter Hammond Blue and a bright Taylor Rose. Dan Q. Dao, Condé Nast Traveler, "11 Best Men’s Swim Trunks to Wear This Summer," 12 May 2020 Always wished your could just embroider your own linens? Emma Bazilian, House Beautiful, "The Grandmillennial's Guide to Staying Home," 30 Mar. 2020 But while the centuries-old artwork offers much illumination on the medieval period, details regarding the tapestry itself—including who embroidered it, where it was created and its original purpose—remain few and far between. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Architecture and Math Show the Bayeux Tapestry Was Designed to Decorate a Cathedral," 31 Oct. 2019 Hunt pieced together collages of island photos and pages from old burial logs, as well as gallery installations of tiny coffins holding blankets embroidered with the names of the dead. CBS News, "NYC island used to bury unclaimed coronavirus victims has long history of "stories that are not told"," 13 Apr. 2020 The right breast pocket area of the jacket had either a zipper or embroidered lettering on it. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Police are asking for help identifying a suspect who robbed a Greenfield Speedway," 2 Apr. 2020

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

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Embroider.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embroider. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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