decorate

Synonym Chooser

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

Some common synonyms of decorate are adorn, beautify, deck, embellish, garnish, and ornament. While all these words mean "to enhance the appearance of something by adding something unessential," decorate suggests relieving plainness or monotony by adding beauty of color or design.

decorate a birthday cake

When might adorn be a better fit than decorate?

The synonyms adorn and decorate are sometimes interchangeable, but adorn implies an enhancing by something beautiful in itself.

a diamond necklace adorned her neck

How are the words beautify and embellish related as synonyms of decorate?

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

will beautify the grounds with flower beds

When can deck be used instead of decorate?

Although the words deck and decorate have much in common, deck implies the addition of something that contributes to gaiety, splendor, or showiness.

a house all decked out for Christmas

When would embellish be a good substitute for decorate?

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

embellish a page with floral borders

Where would garnish be a reasonable alternative to decorate?

While in some cases nearly identical to decorate, 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 do ornament and embellish relate to one another, in the sense of decorate?

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 decorate

Cite this Entry

“Decorate.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/decorate. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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