ornamental

1 of 2

adjective

or·​na·​men·​tal ˌȯr-nə-ˈmen-tᵊl How to pronounce ornamental (audio)
: of, relating to, or serving as ornament
specifically : grown as an ornamental
ornamentally adverb

ornamental

2 of 2

noun

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

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Dutch companies are the world’s top suppliers of seeds for ornamental plants and vegetables. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2022 The bugs can result in defoliation and death of ornamental boxwoods. Chandra Fleming, Detroit Free Press, 9 Nov. 2022 The sculpture, crafted of steel and stainless steel by blacksmith Nicholas Ireys at his shop about a mile from Lexington Market, captures the history of slavery at the market while reflecting the ornamental ironwork dotted around Baltimore. Maya Lora, Baltimore Sun, 8 Nov. 2022 Bears have also been spotted in nearby neighborhoods eating ornamental pumpkins, Isherwood shared. Brenton Blanchet, Peoplemag, 7 Nov. 2022 Dinner sets, tea ware, vases, busts, plaques, cameos, and many other useful and purely ornamental items made there were sold across Great Britain, Europe, and the colonial world. Andrew Raftery, The New York Review of Books, 3 Nov. 2022 An easy to grow hedge or foundation plant, one of the best ornamental fruiting shrubs. Chris Mckeown, The Enquirer, 22 Oct. 2022 Most ornamental saltwater fish species are caught in the wild because breeding them in captivity can be expensive, difficult, and often impossible. Victoria Milko, Firdia Lisnawati, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Oct. 2022 Most ornamental saltwater fish species are caught in the wild because breeding them in captivity can be expensive, difficult and often impossible. Victoria Milko, BostonGlobe.com, 20 Oct. 2022
Noun
Twelve years later, Bennett and her team have designed around 200 gardens, all of which integrate the ornamental with the edible. Camille Okhio, ELLE Decor, 13 June 2022 There are lots of varieties, some ornamental and others edible. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, 26 May 2022 The only species that was unmolested was Japanese maple, an exotic ornamental that came to represent one-quarter of the forest’s inventory. Washington Post, 7 July 2021 An unnamed elephant ear is most likely to be Colocasia esculenta, the food plant taro, which also makes an impressive ornamental. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, 17 May 2021 This looks like Parney cotoneaster (Cotoneaster lacteus), a native of China used as an ornamental. oregonlive, 27 Dec. 2020 Deep green, textured foliage makes this variety an excellent ornamental for arbors or training against a wall. Earl Nickel, SFChronicle.com, 7 Aug. 2020 Fruit pruning doesn’t follow the rules for ornamentals. Margaret Roach, New York Times, 5 May 2020 Forsythia shrubs are beginning to provide a golden display in Northern Ohio, Pieras is in full flower and other ornamentals seem prepared to bloom at the first sign of warm weather. cleveland, 27 Mar. 2020 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

1595, in the meaning defined above

Noun

1650, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ornamental was in 1595

Dictionary Entries Near ornamental

Cite this Entry

“Ornamental.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ornamental. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

ornamental 1 of 2

adjective

or·​na·​men·​tal ˌȯr-nə-ˈment-ᵊl How to pronounce ornamental (audio)
: of, relating to, or serving as ornament
ornamentally adverb

ornamental

2 of 2

noun

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

More from Merriam-Webster on ornamental

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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