or·​nate ȯr-ˈnāt How to pronounce ornate (audio)
: marked by elaborate rhetoric (see rhetoric sense 2b) or florid (see florid sense 1a) style
is clear and simple rather than ornate and pompousThe Times Literary Supplement (London)
: elaborately or excessively decorated
an ornate mantle
an ornate townhouse
ornate chandeliers
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 With beautifully ornate, centuries-old buildings as lovely as its serene shores and national parks, Thailand offers more Instagram-worthy photo opportunities than an old roll of film could ever handle. Tracy Scott Forson, Smithsonian Magazine, 5 Apr. 2024 Choose from smaller wreaths to larger, more ornate options that will fit every home or doorway. Alida Nugent, Peoplemag, 2 Apr. 2024 In addition, plenty of the home’s period elements remain intact, including ornate molding and decorative wainscoting. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 12 Mar. 2024 The weeklong meetings are being held at the cavernous, ornate Great Hall of the People on the west side of Tiananmen Square. NBC News, 5 Mar. 2024 Premier Li Qiang is expected to announce an official economic growth target when the National People’s Congress convenes Tuesday in Beijing’s ornate Great Hall of the People. Dake Kang and Elaine Kurtenbach, Quartz, 4 Mar. 2024 Many original design elements remain, including tiling in the dining and living rooms, restored crown moldings, soft archways, and ornate fireplaces. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 26 Mar. 2024 But, the object turned out to be something extraordinary indeed: the fractured remains of a 2,000-year-old Roman cavalry helmet decorated with ornate patterns of silver and gold. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 25 Mar. 2024 All roads lead to the harbor, crowned by the extravagantly ornate Gothic cathedral of Santa Maria. Tony Perrottet, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ornate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near ornate

Cite this Entry

“Ornate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ornate. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


or·​nate ȯr-ˈnāt How to pronounce ornate (audio)
: decorated in a fancy way
ornately adverb
ornateness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on ornate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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