or·​nate | \ ȯr-ˈnāt \

Definition of ornate

1 : marked by elaborate rhetoric (see rhetoric sense 2b) or florid (see florid sense 1b) style is clear and simple rather than ornate and pompousThe Times Literary Supplement (London)
2 : elaborately or excessively decorated an ornate mantle an ornate townhouse ornate chandeliers

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ornate

ornately adverb
ornateness noun

Examples of ornate in a Sentence

She doesn't like ornate jewelry. an ornate gambling casino that is designed to look like an Italian palace

Recent Examples on the Web

Reich recently posted an Instagram photo of an ornate ceiling at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. Kristina Orrego, The Seattle Times, "Move over statement walls, ceilings are the hot new focal point," 12 Feb. 2019 The joint logo certainly looks curlier and more ornate than the Duke and Duchess' individual ciphers. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Monogram Compares to Kate Middleton and Prince William's," 31 July 2018 Israel released several photos of the visit, including the two men shaking hands, sitting side by side in an ornate meeting room and looking at a map of the region together. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "Israeli Leader Visits Oman’s Ruler in Sign of Improving Relations," 26 Oct. 2018 Of course with an ensemble this ornate, MarieClaire.com's editors had opinions. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Amber Heard Paired Her Valentino Gown With a Swim Cap at Aquaman's London Premiere," 26 Nov. 2018 For accommodations, the Bigelow Hotel (built in 1891) clings proudly to its 1920s heyday; the décor is all art-deco chandeliers and ornate ceilings reliefs (from $120 a night, bigelowhotelogden.com). Elisabeth Vincentelli, WSJ, "The Coolest, Under-the-Radar Ski Towns in the American West," 15 Nov. 2018 Think marble walls, a grand staircase, crystal chandeliers, wood paneling, ornate ceilings, brocade curtains—and throw in some red upholstery and zebra-stripe pillows. Elise Craig, Condé Nast Traveler, "25 Best Hotels in San Francisco," 28 Feb. 2018 The 105-year-old restaurant/dance hall Clärchens Ballhaus exudes the louche glamour of Weimar-era Berlin, from the peeling paint on the walls and cracked gilded mirrors to the ornate molded ceilings. Karen Burshtein, Vogue, "From Burlesque to Bauhaus, Here’s Where to Find the Roaring 20s in Berlin Today," 29 Jan. 2018 This elegant mansion for sale in The Woodlands is full of ornate ceilings, sweeping arches and glistening chandeliers. Dana Burke, Houston Chronicle, "Woodlands mansion has something fancy for everyone, even pets," 26 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ornate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ornate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ornate

Middle English ornat, from Latin ornatus, past participle of ornare to furnish, embellish; akin to Latin ordo order — more at order

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ornate

Statistics for ornate

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ornate

The first known use of ornate was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ornate



English Language Learners Definition of ornate

: covered with decorations : covered with fancy patterns and shapes
: using many fancy words


or·​nate | \ ȯr-ˈnāt \

Kids Definition of ornate

: decorated in a fancy way The traditional costume includes an ornate headdress.

Other Words from ornate

ornately adverb
ornateness noun

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ornate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ornate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ornate

Spanish Central: Translation of ornate

Nglish: Translation of ornate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ornate for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ornate

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


to express emotion in a dramatic way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!