ornament

2 of 2

verb

Synonym Chooser

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

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

When is it sensible to use adorn instead of ornament?

The synonyms adorn and ornament 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 ornament?

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 ornament?

In some situations, the words deck and ornament are roughly equivalent. However, deck implies the addition of something that contributes to gaiety, splendor, or showiness.

a house all decked out for Christmas

In what contexts can decorate take the place of ornament?

While in some cases nearly identical to ornament, decorate suggests relieving plainness or monotony by adding beauty of color or design.

decorate a birthday cake

When can embellish be used instead of ornament?

The words embellish and ornament 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 ornament?

Although the words garnish and ornament have much in common, garnish suggests decorating with a small final touch and is used especially in referring to the serving of food.

an entrée garnished with parsley

Thesaurus Entries Near ornament

Cite this Entry

“Ornament.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/ornament. Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

More from Merriam-Webster on ornament

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