ornament

noun
or·​na·​ment | \ ˈȯr-nə-mənt How to pronounce ornament (audio) \

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 How to pronounce ornament (audio) \
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

Her work is a delicate yet forceful reinterpretation of symbolic ornaments, intricate decorations, and historic architectural elements cut and pasted into whimsical, feminine silhouettes. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, "Asli Filinta Is the Name to Know From Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Istanbul," 26 Mar. 2019 The steps are simple: fill a disposable container with room temperature water, pour nail polish in the water, swirl the polish together, then dip your ornament in. Alyssa Fiorentino, House Beautiful, "All I Want For Christmas Are These DIY Marble Ornaments," 21 Dec. 2018 Take a nostalgic trip through Americana at the Moon Pie General Store, a novelty gift shop where Moon Pies are still made, or help create your own glass ornament at Ignis Glass Studio (Ignis suggests calling first: 423-265-2565). Colleen Creamer, New York Times, "36 Hours in Chattanooga," 24 May 2018 One of Burden’s favorites was the Broadway Rose, named for the rosebuds on its finial ornament on top of the globes. Deborah Vankin, latimes.com, "'Urban Light': Everything you didn't know about L.A.'s beloved landmark," 14 Feb. 2018 Buy your holiday tree, browse handmade wreaths and canned produce, sample cookies, visit Santa and make your own souvenir ornament all while supporting a great cause. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Thanksgiving weekend guide: Maker Market, Black Friday events, holiday lights and more," 21 Nov. 2017 As his house pares down, ornament sprouts on his person like an irrepressible efflorescence of his inner rococo. Kennedy Fraser, Vogue, "From the Archives: Karl Lagerfeld, The Impresario," 19 Feb. 2019 The trees are adorned with white twinkly lights; little crowns are scattered everywhere; and the staircases are covered in greenery with multicolored ornaments. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "The Royal Family's Christmas Decorations Are the Polar Opposite of the White House's," 4 Dec. 2018 More foliage—occasionally decorated with charming bird ornaments and placed in chic brass vases—brings a fresh feeling to every room. ELLE Decor, "This Holiday Party Is Anything But Traditional—And We're Obsessed," 30 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Stylized fists ornament her book’s cover, sprouting like invasive weeds in front of a darkened U.S. Capitol. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, "Children’s Books: The Young Person’s Guide to Grievance," 30 Aug. 2018 The book, on loan from a private collection, is lettered and ornamented by Morris with miniatures by Burne-Jones. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "In London, Medieval Legends Through Modern Eyes," 19 Oct. 2018 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

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

8 Apr 2019

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

ornament

verb

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

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

ornament

noun
or·​na·​ment | \ ˈȯr-nə-mənt How to pronounce ornament (audio) \

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 How to pronounce ornament (audio) \
ornamented; ornamenting

Kids Definition of ornament (Entry 2 of 2)

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Comments on ornament

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