festoon

noun
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.

festoon

verb
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?

Noun

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

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 Graffiti bearing the team's red dragons logo festoons the outside of the old stand, which is adorned with littered stairwells and poured cement with all the charm of an old prison. Motez Bishara, CNN, "Champions League final 2017: Zinedine Zidane's incredible journey from Cannes to Cardiff," 1 June 2017 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 In December, the council approved the design for the street, including a portion of the road ordained with overhead festoon lights. Ryan Gillespie, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Maitland moves forward in reshaping downtown," 27 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Feathers made a return with Danai Gurira’s swanlike Ralph and Russo gown, festooned with marabou feathers from the neckline to the waist. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "SAG Awards 2019: The Best Dressed Celebrities on the Red Carpet," 28 Jan. 2019 Macedonia’s former prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, ordered a plethora of statues and monuments, including of ancient Greeks, to festoon the capital, Skopje, and other areas. Konstantin Testorides, The Seattle Times, "Macedonia’s name change – what does the country have to do?," 28 Jan. 2019 The conference venue is literally festooned with coal. Umair Irfan, Vox, "World leaders are working out a climate deal in Poland — despite Trump," 14 Dec. 2018 City streets are festooned with flags, banners and billboards of Erdogan and the AKP, far outnumbering the other candidates’ posters. Washington Post, "Turkey heads to landmark presidential, parliamentary vote," 22 June 2018 These were the sorts of meals involving heaping plates of pasta and red sauce in a restaurant festooned with clichés: murals of gondolas, peasants and putti, a soundtrack heavy with accordion and kitsch. Patrick Comiskey, latimes.com, "Wines of the week: 3 great bottles of Chianti," 5 Apr. 2018 The debate about how to handle the wild boars comes as the city of more than 7 million people is being festooned with pig-themed decorations in preparation for the Lunar New Year holiday that officially begins Tuesday. Alice Fung, The Seattle Times, "In year of the pig, Hong Kong has had enough of wild ones," 6 Feb. 2019 In the evenings, the fragrant nook, festooned with antique copper pie molds and sketched pie designs, becomes a private dining room, available to rent out for pie feasts. Jay Cheshes, WSJ, "Where to Find London’s Premium Pies," 23 Jan. 2019 Supporters squeezed onto the stairs and hung over gold-leafed balconies festooned with American flags. Amy Chozick, The Hive, "“Organization Don’t Mean Shit”: Inside the Beginning of the End of the Clinton Campaign," 23 Apr. 2018

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

Noun

1630, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

The first known use of festoon was in 1630

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More Definitions for festoon

festoon

noun

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

festoon

verb

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

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

festoon

noun
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

festoon

verb
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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with festoon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for festoon

Spanish Central: Translation of festoon

Nglish: Translation of festoon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about festoon

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