fes·​toon | \ fe-ˈstün How to pronounce festoon (audio) \

Definition of festoon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a decorative chain or strip hanging between two points walls decorated with festoons of flowers
2 : a carved, molded, or painted ornament representing a decorative chain Around the mirror were carved festoons of grapevines.


festooned; festooning; festoons

Definition of festoon (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to hang or form festoons on
2 : to shape into festoons

Did you know?

The noun festoon first appeared in the 1600s when it was used, as it still is today, to refer to decorative chains or strips hung between two points. (It can also refer to a carved, molded, or painted ornament representing such a chain.) After a century’s worth of festoon-adorning, the verb festoon made an entrance, and people began to festoon with their festoons—that is, they draped and adorned with them. The verb has since then acquired additional, more general senses related not only to decorating, but to something appearing on the surface of something, as in “a sweater festooned with purple unicorns.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, this celebratory-sounding and party-associated word traces back (by way of French and Italian) to Latin festa, the plural of festum, meaning “festival.”

Examples of festoon in a Sentence

Verb We festooned the halls with leaves and white lights. The balcony is festooned in ivy. His office is festooned with newspaper clippings.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Howe Antiques is a small family business and is a festoon of incredible, original naval woolen flags, displayed from the ceiling or alongside a Bucranium mirror and carved Halim pieces. Vogue, 2 June 2022 On Sado Island itself, where banners and posters celebrating the World Heritage nomination festoon warehouses and shop windows, residents say any debate about Korean laborers is beside the point. New York Times, 21 Feb. 2022 The neutral dress sets off the sitter’s pink sash and flowers, her rouged cheeks, the yellow festoon on the stone wall and the wreath of parti-colored flowers in her hand. Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2021 That block of Fifth Avenue features cozy festoon lighting strung between businesses and has been closed to traffic for concerts in the street in recent years. Jenny Berg, Star Tribune, 19 Mar. 2021 Observant Sicilians festoon altars with food in their homes as well as in churches, schools and public spaces. Kathleen Squires, WSJ, 11 Mar. 2021 But jazz, drink and festoons of Union Jacks were poor covers for the discontent coursing through the party membership in Kettering, a town in central England that voted six-to-four in favor of Britain’s leaving the European Union. Benjamin Mueller, New York Times, 6 July 2019 The three strand necklace, created from approximately 64 carats of round and emerald cut diamonds set in platinum is in the festoon style. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, 3 June 2019 Hence the magnificent gables, the plaster scrolls, escutcheons, vases, masks, garlands, festoons, cartouches, balustrades, and whatnot. Steve King, Condé Nast Traveler, 24 Dec. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Photos of those and many other artists performing at the venue, as well as autographed guitars and the like, festoon the club’s walls. Jem Aswad, Variety, 11 Mar. 2022 Images of and homages to the statue now festoon the city. New York Times, 28 Oct. 2021 Thailand’s military government was initially delighted by the star’s warm comments and touristy images, but then went into a spasm of denials when Crowe posted a photo of the chaotic tangle of overhead cables that festoon most city streets. Patrick Frater, Variety, 21 Oct. 2021 String lights now festoon Crescent Beach, candles decorate the tables and musicians sometimes stroll. Los Angeles Times, 1 July 2021 Homeowners were encouraged to festoon their homes Fiesta-style. Monte Bach, San Antonio Express-News, 20 Apr. 2021 The free, socially distant event encourages homeowners to festoon their homes Fiesta-style, so visitors can come and enjoy the spectacle, which runs Thursday through April 25. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, 13 Apr. 2021 In the Rogers Park neighborhood, Treacy Greer managed to hoist an 11-foot pine tree onto her third-floor deck and festoon it with 800 colored lights. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, 9 Dec. 2020 Today, southwestern Michigan is a place where Trump and Biden signs festoon lawns in equal number on some blocks, where the governor, Gretchen Whitmer, is such a lightning rod that people wear T-shirts proclaiming their hate or love for her. Jennifer Steinhauer, New York Times, 17 Oct. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'festoon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of festoon


1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1765, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for festoon

Noun and Verb

French feston, from Italian festone, from festa festival, from Latin — more at feast

Learn More About festoon

Time Traveler for festoon

Time Traveler

The first known use of festoon was in 1610

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Dictionary Entries Near festoon



festoon cloud

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Statistics for festoon

Last Updated

16 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Festoon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/festoon. Accessed 10 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for festoon


fes·​toon | \ fe-ˈstün How to pronounce festoon (audio) \

Kids Definition of festoon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a chain or strip hanging between two points as decoration


festooned; festooning

Kids Definition of festoon (Entry 2 of 2)

: to hang or form festoons or other decorations on

More from Merriam-Webster on festoon

Nglish: Translation of festoon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about festoon


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