ornament

noun
or·​na·​ment | \ˈȯr-nə-mənt \

Definition of ornament 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : a useful accessory

2a : something that lends grace or beauty

b : a manner or quality that adorns

3 : one whose virtues or graces add luster to a place or society

4 : the act of adorning or being adorned

5 : an embellishing note not belonging to the essential harmony or melody

called also embellishment, fioritura

ornament

verb
or·​na·​ment | \ˈȯr-nə-ˌment \
ornamented; ornamenting; ornaments

Definition of ornament (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to provide with ornament : embellish

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Choose the Right Synonym for ornament

Verb

adorn, decorate, ornament, embellish, beautify, deck, garnish mean to enhance the appearance of something by adding something unessential. adorn implies an enhancing by something beautiful in itself. a diamond necklace adorned her neck decorate suggests relieving plainness or monotony by adding beauty of color or design. decorate a birthday cake ornament and embellish imply the adding of something extraneous, ornament stressing the heightening or setting off of the original a white house ornamented with green shutters , embellish often stressing the adding of superfluous or adventitious ornament. embellish a page with floral borders beautify adds to embellish a suggestion of counterbalancing plainness or ugliness. will beautify the grounds with flower beds deck implies the addition of something that contributes to gaiety, splendor, or showiness. a house all decked out for Christmas garnish suggests decorating with a small final touch and is used especially in referring to the serving of food. an entrée garnished with parsley

Examples of ornament in a Sentence

Noun

She wore a hair ornament. The columns are there purely as ornament—they have no structural function.

Verb

flower patterns used to ornament boxes delicate crystal figurines ornament the mantel over the fireplace
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Look at Venezuela, which is the hood ornament of progressivism. Fox News, "Clearance showdown between Trump and Brennan intensifies," 21 Aug. 2018 The contemporary American restaurant has 20-foot floor-to-ceiling windows decorated with giant wreaths, and an impressive Christmas tree adorned with lights and ornaments during the festive season. Rachel Kashdan, ELLE Decor, "The Best Things To Do In Chicago During The Holidays," 10 Nov. 2016 Entablature, column, podium, portico — her graphic version is stripped of ornament. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Artist Barbara Kruger turns a bland building into a screaming statement. Time to listen up," 14 June 2018 Photos are offered in various packages, starting at $12; gift items featuring the pet’s photo, including ornaments, mugs and key chains, are also available, starting at $14. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "What to do around Louisville this week: Elf-apalooza, Holly & Ivy, Lights Under Louisville & more," 6 Dec. 2017 Check out these 2 easy DIY citrus Christmas tree ornaments: Real Christmas trees, in contrast, are grown on farms in all 50 states, taking up to 15 years to reach harvestable size. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Here's Why Real Christmas Trees Are Better For The Environment," 29 Nov. 2017 The business moved to the corner of U.S. 290 and Texas 6 in Hempstead in 2000 and made its dinosaur ornaments a prominent fixture. Fernando Alfonso Iii, Houston Chronicle, "'Jurassic World' is a boon for one Texas business selling massive dinosaur ornaments," 20 June 2018 Rookwood Pottery raised more than $71,720 for the zoo from sales of 12,000 of its $25 Fiona holiday ornament. Anne Saker, Cincinnati.com, "Fiona Inc.: Nearly $500K to Cincinnati Zoo from sales of hippo books, beer and ice cream," 3 Jan. 2018 Learn how to make simple ornaments or arm knit a scarf. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Weekend guide: "The Nutcracker" opening, Dickens of a Day, holiday animation and more," 6 Dec. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Wiry and muscular, he was invariably dressed in a buckskin suit, fringed at the edges, with a deerskin cap ornamented with a fox tail. Gary Kamiya, SFChronicle.com, "The original Grizzly Adams kept his bears on a chain in SF," 7 July 2018 Designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren are known for creating wearable art: gowns ornamented with picture frames, massive hats of straw, and one collection made entirely from leftover fabric. Aubri Juhasz, The Cut, "The Designers Known for Clothes That Look Like Art," 28 June 2018 Just inside, a Mughal style quadrant is ornamented with cascading fountains and framed by an arched passageway and gold leaf frescoes. Town & Country, "These Are the 83 Top Hotels Around the World," 6 Oct. 2016 It was built in the mid-1830s, its architecture typical of the Georgian taste for tall, skinny, terraced houses ornamented with fancy iron railings. Ruth Bloomfield, WSJ, "Inside the London Home of Mary Poppins," 23 May 2018 Businesses and city buildings were ornamented with wreaths, garlands, banners and streamers to honor Pres. Dawn Mitchell, Indianapolis Star, "The epic journey of Abraham Lincoln's funeral train," 30 Apr. 2018 On the album, Mr. Sosa ornaments the space around Mr. Keita’s playing with lilting undercurrents and deftly studded terrain. New York Times, "13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in NYC This Weekend," 15 Mar. 2018 There's a certain joy emanating from the school's hallways, which are ornamented with green and orange, the school's colors. The Hechinger Report, NOLA.com, "About 40 percent of New Orleans high school students are held back at least 1 grade," 8 Jan. 2018 The designs that ornament his clothes allude to everything from Qing Dynasty decorations and the paintings of Francis Bacon to Ottoman-era iconography and the artist James Reeve’s photographs of cities at night. Hanya Yanagihara, New York Times, "Dries Van Noten, Icon of Creative Freedom," 16 Oct. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ornament.' 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 ornament

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1650, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ornament

Noun

Middle English, from Anglo-French urnement, ornement, from Latin ornamentum, from ornare

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Statistics for ornament

Last Updated

18 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ornament

The first known use of ornament was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for ornament

ornament

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ornament

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a small, fancy object that is put on something else to make it more attractive

: a way to make something look more attractive and less plain

ornament

verb

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

: to make (something) more attractive by adding small objects to it

ornament

noun
or·​na·​ment | \ˈȯr-nə-mənt \

Kids Definition of ornament

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that adds beauty : decoration a Christmas tree ornament

ornament

verb
or·​na·​ment | \ˈȯr-nə-ˌment \
ornamented; ornamenting

Kids Definition of ornament (Entry 2 of 2)

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Comments on ornament

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