Synonym Chooser

How is the word adorn different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of adorn are beautify, deck, decorate, embellish, garnish, and ornament. While all these words 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

How do beautify and embellish relate to one another, in the sense of adorn?

Beautify adds to embellish a suggestion of counterbalancing plainness or ugliness.

will beautify the grounds with flower beds

In what contexts can deck take the place of adorn?

The synonyms deck and adorn are sometimes interchangeable, but deck implies the addition of something that contributes to gaiety, splendor, or showiness.

a house all decked out for Christmas

When is decorate a more appropriate choice than adorn?

Although the words decorate and adorn have much in common, decorate suggests relieving plainness or monotony by adding beauty of color or design.

decorate a birthday cake

Where would embellish be a reasonable alternative to adorn?

The words embellish and adorn are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, embellish often stresses the adding of superfluous or adventitious ornament.

embellish a page with floral borders

When is it sensible to use garnish instead of adorn?

While in some cases nearly identical to adorn, garnish suggests decorating with a small final touch and is used especially in referring to the serving of food.

an entrée garnished with parsley

How are the words ornament and embellish related as synonyms of adorn?

Both 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

Thesaurus Entries Near adorn

Cite this Entry

“Adorn.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/adorn. Accessed 10 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on adorn

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ