em·broi·dery | \im-ˈbrȯi-d(ə-)rē \
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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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

Waight Keller made the veil as well, which had delicate embroidery along the edges. Elizabeth Angell, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Was Every Groom Fumbling with Meghan Markle's Veil," 19 May 2018 Imelda believed in bettering yourself throughout your life; which led her to learn belly dancing, modeling, cake decorating, painting, and embroidery. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Imelda M. Detelj," 12 July 2018 From delicate embroidery and bell sleeves to playful tassels and a flattering waist-tie belt, every detail counts. Minna Shim, Harper's BAZAAR, "A Charming Upgrade to the Peasant Dress," 23 June 2018 All of these gifts are monogrammable—either via embroidery or engraving—and all but one clocks in at well under $200 (and even the outlier is a measly 20 bucks over). Yang-yi Goh, GQ, "15 Groomsmen Gifts Your Friends Will Actually Appreciate," 31 May 2018 T'Challa can be seen in a cutaway coat with embroidery in a Nigerian tradition. Joy Sewing, Houston Chronicle, "The wardrobe of Wakanda: a costume designer’s dream," 27 May 2018 Lids: Through Monday, with a military ID get free embroidery and customization. Kelly Tyko, USA TODAY, "Ten-hut! Restaurants, retailers offer Memorial Day savings to active military, veterans," 26 May 2018 Shoppers will find easy-to-wear tunics, tees and dresses, most often featuring the colorful floral embroidery for which the label is known. SFChronicle.com, "25 ways to chase your perfect Bay Area summer," 11 July 2018 The original inspiration, which began from the masterpiece embroidery (The Maya Angelou Coat) - started with inspiration from the #MeToo movement. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Australian Fashion Brand Khòlò Faced Backlash After Launching a #MeToo Collection," 13 June 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

3 Oct 2018

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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 \
plural embroideries

Kids Definition of embroidery

1 : needlework done to decorate cloth

2 : the act or art of embroidering

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