ornamental

adjective
or·na·men·tal | \ˌȯr-nə-ˈmen-tᵊl \

Definition of ornamental 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or serving as ornament specifically : grown as an ornamental

ornamental

noun

Definition of ornamental (Entry 2 of 2)

: a decorative object especially : a plant cultivated for its beauty rather than for use

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Other Words from ornamental

Adjective

ornamentally \ˌȯr-nə-ˈmen-tᵊl-ē \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for ornamental

Synonyms: Adjective

adorning, beautifying, cosmetic, decorative, embellishing

Synonyms: Noun

bauble, curio, curiosity, doodad, gaud, gewgaw (also geegaw), gimcrack, knickknack (also nicknack), novelty, tchotchke, trinket

Antonyms: Adjective

functional, utilitarian

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Examples of ornamental in a Sentence

Adjective

The garden has many ornamental shrubs. the trim on Victorian houses is sometimes elaborately ornamental

Noun

The garden has many beautiful ornamentals. a collection of fragile ornamentals kept in a glass cabinet
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Unlike ornamental plants, vegetables need consistently moist (not wet) soil. Nan Sterman, latimes.com, "What to do in your garden in July? Less is more," 6 July 2018 Unlike ornamental plants, vegetables need consistently moist (not wet) soil. Nan Sterman, latimes.com, "What to do in your garden in July? Less is more," 6 July 2018 Unlike ornamental plants, vegetables need consistently moist (not wet) soil. Nan Sterman, sandiegouniontribune.com, "July in the garden," 5 July 2018 This year’s award winner, Allium ‘Millenium’ (an ornamental onion) was a relatively obscure plant a year or two ago. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Gardeners can go from OK to superb with the help of these websites," 6 July 2018 Purple globes of ornamental alliums strutted their stuff. Hattie Bernstein, BostonGlobe.com, "Cool down this summer in these magical gardens," 5 July 2018 Its ornamental panels, which pay tribute to decorative ironwork on buildings crafted by slaves and free African-American artisans in cities like New Orleans, possessed a delicate beauty when viewed at close range. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "The national African-American museum still stirs the soul — and drops hints of what to expect at the Obama Presidential Center," 11 July 2018 All differ somewhat in ornamental detail — tiny Buddhas, flowers, birds, even cast locks of hair — but all have a similarly stylish presence that’s distinctive, yet hard to define. New York Times, "The Art of Staying Cool: 10 Can’t-Miss Summer Shows in New York," 4 July 2018 The dialogue teems with discussions of Rimbaud, Walt Whitman, W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood, and Honoré's intellectually capacious script doesn't treat these references as digressive or ornamental. Justin Chang, latimes.com, "Cannes: Passion and politics merge in the exquisite doomed romances of 'Ash Is Purest White,' 'Cold War'," 13 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

They can be found on many fruits and vegetables, ornamentals, and shade trees. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "10 Most Destructive Garden Insects And How To Get Rid Of Them," 3 June 2016 Such was the objective in pruning hardy kiwifruits planted as ornamentals at old estates. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "How To Grow Your Own Kiwis In Your Backyard," 6 Feb. 2018 My plantings grow clustered with other ornamentals kept in containers or in the ground. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Local amaryllis brimming with spring color," 4 Apr. 2018 Virtually all insecticides labeled for use on ornamentals to control insects will kill aphids. Dan Gill is a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter. Dan Gill, NOLA.com, "How to treat aphids on ornamental plants," 10 Mar. 2018 And as the flowers appear just a step ahead of the leaves, the showers of pink flowers from these three star ornamentals are particularly dazzling. Earl Nickel, San Francisco Chronicle, "Ornamental cherry trees bring a waterfall of blooms," 23 Feb. 2018 Watch fruit trees and ornamentals such as pyracantha, for signs of fireblight. Margaret Lauterbach, idahostatesman, "Thinking of becoming a gardener? Here’s a primer for southern Idaho," 31 Jan. 2018 Oils kill by suffocation and are a great low toxicity way to control a variety of insects on ornamentals and vegetables. NOLA.com, "This week's gardening tips: how to control caterpillars, scale, whitefly," 28 Oct. 2017 If herbicides are used, do not plant herbaceous ornamentals or shrubs in that area. OregonLive.com, "How to control creeping bamboo and salal: Ask an expert," 21 Oct. 2017

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

Adjective

1595, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1650, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for ornamental

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ornamental

The first known use of ornamental was in 1595

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More Definitions for ornamental

ornamental

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of ornamental

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: used to make something more attractive : used for decoration

ornamental

noun

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

: a plant that is grown for its beauty rather than for its fruit, wood, etc. : an ornamental plant

ornamental

adjective
or·na·men·tal | \ˌȯr-nə-ˈmen-tᵊl \

Kids Definition of ornamental

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: serving to add beauty : decorative The columns are just ornamental.

ornamental

noun

Kids Definition of ornamental (Entry 2 of 2)

: a plant grown for its beauty

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