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 pompous The Times Literary Supplement (London)
: elaborately or excessively decorated
an ornate mantle
an ornate townhouse
ornate chandeliers
ornately adverb
ornateness noun

Example Sentences

She doesn't like ornate jewelry. an ornate gambling casino that is designed to look like an Italian palace
Recent Examples on the Web Visitors can tour the ornate displays throughout the British royal family's ancestral home, which has been bedecked for the first holiday season of King Charles III's reign. Janine Henni, Peoplemag, 24 Nov. 2022 Dress up in your holiday best and head to Playhouse Square’s Allen Theatre to take your own Christmas card portraits in front of the many trees decorated by local designers and artists that adorn the ornate lobby. Joey Morona, cleveland, 23 Nov. 2022 Although a pricer option when compared to our other picks, this rectangle mirror looks super luxurious with its antique bronze finish and gilded ornate detailing. Alyssa Gautieri, Good Housekeeping, 22 Nov. 2022 Recent iterations feature ornate gemstones and metalwork, perfect for adding a touch of western flair to any look. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 14 Nov. 2022 Families make altars called ofrendas (offerings) decorated with marigolds, ornate sugar skulls, photos, and the deceased’s favorite possessions. Meirav Devash, Allure, 28 Sep. 2022 Inside, ornate interiors abound, starting with an impressive double-stair foyer. Abby Montanez, Robb Report, 9 Aug. 2022 Sobriety met moments of punk in South Korean designer Wooyoungmi's collection on Sunday, held in the ornate interiors of Paris’ Musee des Arts Decoratifs. Thomas Adamson, ajc, 26 June 2022 This basilica, located in the Fourvière district with panoramic views of Lyon, boasts elements from both Romanesque and Byzantine-style architecture, with ornate gold interiors. Lily Radziemski, Washington Post, 20 May 2022 See More

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.

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 2 Dec. 2022.

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

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