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

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 At gala soirees after 2010, Franca surprised with choices that were polychromatic and histrionic, or candidly ethereal, with macro prints, animalier, feathers, embroidery, and important jewelry. Federico Chiara, Vogue, 19 Sep. 2022 The entire house is filled with beautiful, intricate quilts, afghans, and embroidery, and every Christmas festive handmade decorations litter the halls. Sólveig Eva Magnúsdóttir, Washington Post, 16 Sep. 2022 In the past, this has involved fabric and embroidery, blueprints, and the anthropomorphization of architecture. Lori Waxman, Chicago Tribune, 16 Sep. 2022 Through purposeful distressing, picturesque embroidery, and meticulously manipulated denim, no look was left feeling flat. Jailynn Taylor, Essence, 15 Sep. 2022 See demonstrations and displays of pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs), embroidery, and images of Ukraine. Lauren Daley, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Aug. 2022 Think about the things in your closet, and all of their buttons, zippers, embroidery, mixed fabrics, and screen printing. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 3 Aug. 2022 Belly dancing, our accents, the tatreez (Palestinian embroidery). Myung J. Chun, Los Angeles Times, 25 July 2022 Designers like Fendi and Prada took to their leather offerings this season with graffiti, embroidery, and other artful touches that bring a museum quality to your bag. ELLE, 13 July 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of embroidery

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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

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Dictionary Entries Near embroidery



embroidery hoop

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Statistics for embroidery

Last Updated

21 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Embroidery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/embroidery. Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for embroidery


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

More from Merriam-Webster on embroidery

Nglish: Translation of embroidery for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about embroidery

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