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 The other three colorways feature decorative embroidery on the straps, which gives them a casual, heritage vibe. Rebecca Shinners, Health.com, "These Merrell Sandals Are the Most Comfortable Slides I’ve Ever Worn," 3 July 2020 Singer posted mask patterns, including ways to personalize them with embroidery, upcycling ideas and sewing tutorials to its website and social media. Washington Post, "The pandemic-fueled demand for masks has reignited interest in an age-old skill," 1 July 2020 This charming mint green dress features sweet floral embroidery at the collar and on two tiny pockets. Alexandra Cavallo, USA TODAY, "25 of the cutest baby outfits for summer," 29 June 2020 Simple, white bedding has been given a dash of flair with embroidery detailing and initials. Lennie Omalza, The Courier-Journal, "This custom 1-bed luxury condo in Louisville features elegant touches in open, airy space," 19 June 2020 My grandfather’s neighbor was Jewish, my father had a Jewish friend, or my mom learned embroidery from her Jewish neighbor. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why a Muslim woman safeguards Jewish history for all Moroccans," 17 June 2020 The beach-ready tote gets a raw edge with rope and embroidery. WSJ, "Ten Handbags for Summer Outings (or Innings)," 5 June 2020 In the little mercado up front, pick up a flashy Mexican embroidery face mask for $10. Mike Sutter, ExpressNews.com, "5 San Antonio Mexican restaurants with great enchiladas to comfort you in these coronavirus times," 4 June 2020 Handicrafts such as crochet, knitting, and embroidery—traditionally practiced by women and by the elderly—carry passive associations that defy most American notions of bravery. Rosa Inocencio Smith, The Atlantic, "How Crafting Can Help Ease Pandemic Anxiety," 1 Apr. 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for embroidery

Last Updated

10 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Embroidery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embroidery. Accessed 14 Aug. 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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Comments on embroidery

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