- transitive verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin adornare, from ad- + ornare to furnish — more at ornate
Date: 14th century
1. to enhance the appearance of especially with beautiful objects
2. to enliven or decorate as if with ornaments <people of fashion who adorned the Court> Synonyms: adorn, decorate, ornament, embellish, beautify, deck, garnish mean to enhance the appearance of something by adding something unessential. adorn implies an enhancing by something beautiful in itself <. decorate suggests relieving plainness or monotony by adding beauty of color or design <decorate a birthday cake>. 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>, embellish often stressing the adding of superfluous or adventitious ornament <embellish a page with floral borders>. beautify adds to embellish a suggestion of counterbalancing plainness or ugliness <will beautify the grounds with flower beds>. deck implies the addition of something that contributes to gaiety, splendor, or showiness <a house all decked out for Christmas>. garnish suggests decorating with a small final touch and is used especially in referring to the serving of food <an entrée garnished with parsley>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.