ornament

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

Definition of ornament

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 archaic : a useful accessory
2a : something that lends grace, beauty, or festivity holiday ornaments
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

My cars' interiors contain up to 46 pieces of wood, and their hood ornament is the Spirit of Ecstasy. Dallas News, "Motley Fool: Investing in Amazon, budgeting steps and this week's trivia," 18 Aug. 2019 The kokoshnik is actually a traditional Russian head ornament, typically very broad, which sits high on the forehead. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "The Romanovs’ Favorite Tiara Is Back On Trend," 13 Aug. 2019 Your only job is to find older rich men who want an arm ornament. Dave Quinn, PEOPLE.com, "Vicki Gunvalson Claps Back at RHOC Costar Kelly Dodd: 'She's an Angry, Volatile Person'," 12 Aug. 2019 Among the Christmas in July collection is a lot more than your average ornaments. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Disney Just Dropped an Entire Christmas Ornament Collection, And I Already Feel the Holiday Spirit," 23 July 2019 The plants and lawn ornaments that help decorate front yards and patios of some Miramar homes have apparently proved tempting to one woman. Doug Phillips, sun-sentinel.com, "Front lawn larceny: Surveillance video shows woman stealing plants, yard decorations," 17 Sep. 2019 Or make your affinity for pickles known throughout your home with an ornament or scented candle. Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "I Tried Pickle Chapstick and It’s the Perfect Stocking Stuffer," 13 Nov. 2018 Attach a bit of yarn with a hot glue gun for easy hanging (perhaps as ornaments on the Halloween tree!), or add a magnet for fun fridge decor. Taysha Murtaugh, Country Living, "Turn Dollar-Store Tea Lights Into the Cutest Pumpkins for Halloween," 24 Sep. 2018 And almost everybody who went to grade school in the U.S. at one time made a holiday ornament, or a Mother's Day card, or a Father's Day card or something for their parents. Hans Aschim, Esquire, "How a Man's Hobby Became His Business (and a TV Show)," 11 Dec. 2015

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ron Wendt Designs imbued the room with a springtime flair, ornamenting cerulean tables with pink peonies and candlelight. Danielle Naer, Vogue, "It Was All Glitz and Glamour at Saks and Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Spring 2019 Ball," 22 May 2019 Her voice was silvery and melodic, each word ornamented with midwestern texture. Clint Smith, The New Republic, "The Sound and Silence of Toni Morrison," 6 Aug. 2019 It is ornamented with decorative elements the Nabateans borrowed from their Greek, Mesopotamian, and Egyptian trading partners—images of Castor and Pollux, for example, just beside an Assyrian stepped crenellation. Andrew Solomon, Condé Nast Traveler, "Traveling Through Jordan’s Historic Ruins, Red Dunes, and Dead Sea," 24 July 2019 Nighttime drives ornamented by fireflies twinkling in the darkness. Freep.com, "This top cop ripped apart a Michigan town," 17 July 2019 Three booths, ornamented with relics from the festival’s 53-year history, will greet visitors walking onto the grounds. Faith E. Pinho, latimes.com, "It takes a village: Laguna’s Sawdust Art Festival readies for opening," 25 June 2019 At the back of the chamber the bodies of nine women lay, all richly ornamented, with their heads resting against the wall. National Geographic, "The royal tombs of Ur revealed Mesopotamia's golden splendor," 22 May 2019 Fanciful bows ornamented several styles at Rodarte’s recent fashion show in Los Angeles; one such knot was fashioned into a giant blue clutch. Elizabeth Holmes, WSJ, "Can a Grown Woman Wear a Hair Bow?," 13 Feb. 2019 Indeed, what was once a stark-white corner storefront is now ornamented with boxwood topiaries and a zig-zag pattern—borrowed from the regimental tie of the Royal Artillery—covers the exterior awnings and the interior floors and walls. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, "At the New Rowing Blazers Flagship, a Champagne-Fueled House Party Raged," 3 May 2019

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

7 Oct 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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