or·​na·​men·​ta·​tion | \ ˌȯr-nə-mən-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce ornamentation (audio) , -ˌmen-\

Definition of ornamentation

1 : something that ornaments : embellishment
2 : the act or process of ornamenting : the state of being ornamented

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Examples of ornamentation in a Sentence

A bright ribbon was used for ornamentation. a ballroom with elaborate ornamentation

Recent Examples on the Web

Smart and chic with clean lines and restrained ornamentation, the suites are a study in minimalist design. Michele Parente, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Lavish casino hotel suites offer taste of the sweet life," 8 Sep. 2019 The funeral home is a reasonably attractive structure with lovely terra cotta ornamentation on the exterior. Vincent Carroll, The Denver Post, "Carroll: Denver should toughen rules to avoid conflicts like Tom’s Diner," 6 Sep. 2019 Works from the Baroque period were written in such a way that, within established conventions, a singer has room to make the piece his or her own through ornamentation—flourishes that are not marked in the score. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "A Millennial Countertenor’s Pop-Star Appeal," 15 July 2019 For those looking to experiment, screens provide a low-lift way to add ornamentation to a space. Michelle Brunner, Washington Post, "Decorative room dividers make an elegant comeback," 11 June 2019 The ensuing project included restoration of the building’s woodwork and plaster ornamentation, plus installation of LED lights above the big central skylight, creating luminosity without the high expense of a full restoration. Steven Litt, cleveland.com, "Cleveland Public Library to kick off 10-year, $100M project to improve 27 neighborhood branches," 25 Aug. 2019 Modernists such as these two spurned the classical lines and ornamentation of the past. Cate Mcquaid, BostonGlobe.com, "Artist digs into Bauhaus history at Harvard," 19 June 2019 Dear Readers: The necktie has been a part of men’s (and even women’s) fashion for hundreds of years, but experts agree that the main purpose of the tie is to add color and ornamentation. Heloise, Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Maintaining your ties," 18 July 2019 The necklines, sleeves, skirts, ornamentation on the gowns, veils hats and other head gear plus accessories will be displayed in the Nicholson House, 13335 Detroit Ave. Carol Kovach, cleveland.com, "Bridal fashions are featured in Lakewood Historical Society fundraiser: A Place in the Sun," 16 July 2019

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

1706, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for ornamentation

Last Updated

13 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ornamentation

The first known use of ornamentation was in 1706

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More Definitions for ornamentation



English Language Learners Definition of ornamentation

somewhat formal : something that is added to make something else more attractive


or·​na·​men·​ta·​tion | \ ˌȯr-nə-mən-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce ornamentation (audio) \

Kids Definition of ornamentation

1 : the act or process of decorating : the state of being decorated
2 : something that adds beauty

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Comments on ornamentation

What made you want to look up ornamentation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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