or·​na·​men·​tal | \ ˌȯr-nə-ˈmen-tᵊl How to pronounce ornamental (audio) \

Definition of ornamental

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or serving as ornament specifically : grown as an ornamental



Definition of ornamental (Entry 2 of 2)

: a decorative object especially : a plant cultivated for its beauty rather than for use

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ornamental


ornamentally \ ˌȯr-​nə-​ˈmen-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce ornamental (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for ornamental

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of ornamental in a Sentence

Adjective The garden has many ornamental shrubs. the trim on Victorian houses is sometimes elaborately ornamental Noun The garden has many beautiful ornamentals. a collection of fragile ornamentals kept in a glass cabinet
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Mums, kale, gourds, ornamental corn, corn stalks, straw bales and planters available. Kori Rumore, chicagotribune.com, 15 Oct. 2021 From the title track onward, her singing is gently piped into the crevices of these fancy productions, like ornamental frosting on specialty desserts. Sheldon Pearce, The New Yorker, 12 Oct. 2021 Ray photographed Marjorie tweaking a woman’s nipples with pliers; in another photo, Marjorie sports an ornamental collar that immobilized her neck. Jeremy Lybarger, The New Republic, 7 Oct. 2021 O’Keeffe created vivid works inspired by flora such as hibiscus, wild ginger, pink ornamental banana, sweeping ocean views, and lush landscapes. Natasha Gural, Forbes, 7 Oct. 2021 The only signs of the blast was slight damage to the ornamental arch by the entrance gate. BostonGlobe.com, 3 Oct. 2021 Alliums, also known as ornamental onions, are flowers with a spherical bulb at the end of their stems. Katarina Avendano, Good Housekeeping, 1 Oct. 2021 Olson found ornamental agaves in the parking lot and told us about the plant’s multiple uses besides tequila, including making soap, paper and rope and treating wounds, burns and skin infections. Brian E. Clark, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2021 Following her tragic death in a 1997 car crash, she was buried on an island at the center of an ornamental lake known as The Round Oval within Althorp Park's Pleasure Garden. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, 30 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The only species that was unmolested was Japanese maple, an exotic ornamental that came to represent one-quarter of the forest’s inventory. Washington Post, 7 July 2021 An unnamed elephant ear is most likely to be Colocasia esculenta, the food plant taro, which also makes an impressive ornamental. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, 17 May 2021 This looks like Parney cotoneaster (Cotoneaster lacteus), a native of China used as an ornamental. oregonlive, 27 Dec. 2020 Deep green, textured foliage makes this variety an excellent ornamental for arbors or training against a wall. Earl Nickel, SFChronicle.com, 7 Aug. 2020 Fruit pruning doesn’t follow the rules for ornamentals. Margaret Roach, New York Times, 5 May 2020 Forsythia shrubs are beginning to provide a golden display in Northern Ohio, Pieras is in full flower and other ornamentals seem prepared to bloom at the first sign of warm weather. cleveland, 27 Mar. 2020 While often admired as simply lovely garden ornamentals, sunflowers actually have an amazing variety of uses. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, 11 Apr. 2017 Women’s Club Bare Root Sale: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Select from fruit trees, flowering and weeping ornamentals. oregonlive, 6 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ornamental.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of ornamental


1595, in the meaning defined above


1650, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About ornamental

Time Traveler for ornamental

Time Traveler

The first known use of ornamental was in 1595

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near ornamental




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for ornamental

Last Updated

19 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ornamental.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ornamental. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ornamental



English Language Learners Definition of ornamental

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: used to make something more attractive : used for decoration



English Language Learners Definition of ornamental (Entry 2 of 2)

: a plant that is grown for its beauty rather than for its fruit, wood, etc. : an ornamental plant


or·​na·​men·​tal | \ ˌȯr-nə-ˈmen-tᵊl How to pronounce ornamental (audio) \

Kids Definition of ornamental

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: serving to add beauty : decorative The columns are just ornamental.



Kids Definition of ornamental (Entry 2 of 2)

: a plant grown for its beauty

More from Merriam-Webster on ornamental

Nglish: Translation of ornamental for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ornamental for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ornamental


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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