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

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Did You Know?


Festoon can also be a verb that is used as a synonym of "decorate" or "adorn" (as in "the room was festooned with streamers and balloons"). The verb "festoon," which first appeared in the late 1700s, comes from the noun "festoon," which appeared over 100 years earlier. "Festoon" traces back (by way of French and Italian) to Latin festa, the plural of festum, meaning "festival." "Festa" is also an ancestor of the English noun "feast."

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Goofy head-shop-meets-heavy-metal imagery festoons their Facebook page, and their website lists faux edgy flavors such as Alien Piss (blue raspberry lemonade) and Your Mom (sweet tangy strawberry yogurt topped with nectarine). Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, "Trump’s vaping crackdown could help Juul by ending the decade’s biggest small-business success story," 23 Sep. 2019 Flowers festoon mirrors, table legs boast dazzling jewels and brightly colored paintings line the walls. Hannah Natanson, Washington Post, "This D.C. barbershop and art gallery offers insight into the LGBTQ community alongside free haircuts," 9 Aug. 2019 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, "The 0.3% of U.K. Voters Who Will Pick the Next Prime Minister," 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, "Charlotte Casiraghi Channels Her Grandmother Grace Kelly at Her Own Royal Wedding," 3 June 2019 Hence the magnificent gables, the plaster scrolls, escutcheons, vases, masks, garlands, festoons, cartouches, balustrades, and whatnot. Steve King, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why We Keep Going Back to Amsterdam," 24 Dec. 2018 Five minutes after beer became legal at midnight, a big truck, gay with festoons, rumbled to the service entrance of the White house, bearing two cases—a brewer’s gift to the president. sandiegouniontribune.com, "April 7 1933: New Beer's Day," 7 Apr. 2018 Inside the Little A'Le'Inn, pictures of UFO sightings, alien masks and military memorabilia decorate, festoon, cover and otherwise dominate the walls and ceiling. Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY, "Hunting for Area 51's aliens along Nevada's Extraterrestrial Highway," 29 Mar. 2018 Rustic figures The cave had collapsed some years earlier, but that didn’t obscure the rustic figures of animals, fish and humans in daubs of black, white and red that festoon the entry wall. Brian J. Cantwell, The Seattle Times, "From Loreto, 3 day-trip adventures in Baja’s high desert," 31 May 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The glass wall behind his chair was festooned with pink doodles made by his 9-year-old daughter, and the room was cluttered with relics of his work, including a square blue robot, a drone, and a gaming computer with a high-powered graphics card. Annie Marie Musselman, Smithsonian, "Inventor Alex Kipman’s Grand Vision for How Holograms Will Change Our Lives," 19 Nov. 2019 Parliament Square is permanently festooned with them. The Economist, "Leaving the European Union is making Britain less British," 26 Oct. 2019 There are leaves to rake, scary movies to watch, and houses to be festooned with acres of spiderweb simulacra. Wired, "Our 14 Favorite Weekend Deals on TVs, Cameras, and Games," 19 Oct. 2019 Somehow Claude VonStroke participated in almost every activity, festively dressed in classic camp counselor garb complete with Davy Crokett hat and a shirt festooned in merit badges. Morena Duwe, Billboard, "We Lost the Dirtybird Campout Spelling Bee and Other Festival Field Activity Reports," 8 Oct. 2019 By a front entrance, there was a Comme des Garçons jacket festooned with a furry ladybug pattern priced at a cool $5,023. Michael Corkery, New York Times, "Nordstrom Opening a New York Store as Other Retailers Close Theirs," 8 Apr. 2018 The glass door of its entrance is festooned with vertical bars inscribed with questions asked by US border agents: What is the purpose of your trip? BostonGlobe.com, "At Mass MoCA, an artist’s border wall rises to meet America’s divisive history - The Boston Globe," 13 Sep. 2019 Beyond this room, the rest of the house is also festooned with JoJo Siwa merchandise. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Time, "'What Do People Want Me to Do? Wear Black Every Day?': How Child Star JoJo Siwa Built Her Sparkly Empire," 22 Aug. 2019 Curled, pale sponges that looked like potato chips the size of dinner plates grew there, as did spindly white corals festooned with squid egg sacks. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Mountains hidden in the deep sea are biological hot spots. Will mining ruin them?," 12 Sep. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of festoon


1630, 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

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Time Traveler for festoon

Time Traveler

The first known use of festoon was in 1630

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Statistics for festoon

Last Updated

21 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Festoon.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/festooned. Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for festoon


How to pronounce festoon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of festoon

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a long chain or strip of something (such as flowers or cloth) that is hung as a decoration



English Language Learners Definition of festoon (Entry 2 of 2)

: to cover or decorate (something) with many small objects, pieces of paper, etc.


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on festoon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for festoon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with festoon

Spanish Central: Translation of festoon

Nglish: Translation of festoon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about festoon

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