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

For the uninitiated, needlepoint is a form of embroidery in which thread is stitched, according to a pattern, through a stiff, open-weave canvas. Sheila Marikar, ELLE Decor, "An Ode to the Perverse Pleasure of Needlepoint," 6 Sep. 2018 My birth doula likened the surgical repair for a 4th degree tear to an intricate embroidery of many layers of tissue and muscle, a repair that heals from the inside out to bring back the integral components of the pelvic floor musculature. Frances F. Denny, Harper's BAZAAR, "What People Don’t Tell You About Childbirth: The Realities of Vaginal Tearing," 16 July 2018 Princess Charlotte, who wore a linen dress with blue embroidery also by Amaia, smiled for photos in her mom's arms. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Prince George and Princess Charlotte Were in Yet Another Wedding This Weekend," 24 Sep. 2018 Autumn leaves and her unfinished embroidery convey the melancholic passage of time. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, "‘Truth and Beauty: The Pre-Raphaelites and the Old Masters’ Review: Understanding a Complex Aesthetic," 28 July 2018 Opt for a two piece in a funky, graphic pattern or a corset dress with embroidery. Danielle Fox, Seventeen, "Is Your Prom Dress Style Classic or Trendy?," 11 July 2018 The myriad interlocking crystal embroideries, meanwhile, were said to mirror cobblestones and netted tulle, embroidered with gold, evoked lovers’ padlocks on the Pont des Arts (that were famously banned by Paris authorities). Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Chanel recreates Paris for couture show celebrating the city," 3 July 2018 Parker, 53, rocked a metallic three-quarter-length-sleeve gown with gold embroidery throughout, red heart accents, and a long train. Michele Corriston, PEOPLE.com, "Andy Cohen Pushed Stephen Colbert at the Met Gala — to Get Closer to Madonna, Of Course," 9 May 2018 Near the garden is an extraordinary couture dress by Ms. Chiuri and Mr. Piccioli for Valentino; its metal-thread embroidery translates Cranach’s Adam and Eve, and its flora and fauna, into splendiferous ornament. Jason Farago, New York Times, "‘Heavenly Bodies’ Brings the Fabric of Faith to the Met," 9 May 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

28 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for embroidery

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

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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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Comments on embroidery

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to enclose within walls

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