Synonym Chooser

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

Some common synonyms of embellish are adorn, beautify, deck, decorate, garnish, and ornament. While all these words mean "to enhance the appearance of something by adding something unessential," embellish often stresses the adding of superfluous or adventitious ornament.

embellish a page with floral borders

When could adorn be used to replace embellish?

Although the words adorn and embellish have much in common, adorn implies an enhancing by something beautiful in itself.

a diamond necklace adorned her neck

How do beautify and embellish relate to one another?

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

will beautify the grounds with flower beds

When might deck be a better fit than embellish?

The words deck and embellish are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, deck implies the addition of something that contributes to gaiety, splendor, or showiness.

a house all decked out for Christmas

When can decorate be used instead of embellish?

The synonyms decorate and embellish are sometimes interchangeable, but decorate suggests relieving plainness or monotony by adding beauty of color or design.

decorate a birthday cake

Where would garnish be a reasonable alternative to embellish?

The meanings of garnish and embellish largely overlap; however, 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?

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 embellish

Cite this Entry

“Embellish.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/embellish. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

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