Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To ornament or dress in a showy or gaudy manner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who spends most of their time in bed; a slugabed.
  • v. To ornament something in showy, tasteless, or gaudy finery.
  • v. To dirty; cover with dirt.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To dress or adorn tawdrily or with false taste.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To deck or dress out, especially in a tawdry manner or with vulgar finery.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. decorate tastelessly
  • v. dress up garishly and tastelessly

Etymologies

be- + dizen.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From be- +‎ dizen. (Wiktionary)
Blend of bed and citizen. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Thou art in mourning now, as well as I: but if ever thy ridiculous turn lead thee again to be beau-brocade, I will bedizen thee, as the girls say, on my return, to my own fancy, and according to thy own natural appearance — Thou shalt doctor my soul, and I will doctor thy body: thou shalt see what a clever fellow I will make of thee.

    Clarissa Harlowe

  • We, whose fathers at least were Christians, who have grown up under those mediaeval arches even if we bedizen them with all the demons in

    The Complete Father Brown

  • Prithee, young one, who art thou, and what has ailed thy mother to bedizen thee in this strange fashion?

    The Scarlet Letter

  • I wasn't sure quite why I had resisted the array of baubles with which she had tried to further bedizen me; perhaps it was mere dislike of fussiness.

    Drums of Autumn

  • And Lily went up to her dressing-room; she wanted to look her best, to bedizen herself ... a little red on her lips, a little blue on her eyelids

    The Bill-Toppers

  • It was the aid of Russia which enabled her to overthrow the great Napoleon, and now she permits the little Napoleon to bully her into a war with Russia that he may bedizen his name with the glory of a conflict with the conqueror of his illustrious kinsman.

    The Continental Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 1, January, 1864

  • He deplores himself, he distrusts himself, he plainly wishes heartily that he was not himself, but he never makes the slightest attempt to disguise and bedizen himself.

    Prejudices : first series,

  • I will so bedizen your virile, though somewhat crassly practical gifts ---- Why, women are my long suit.

    Free Air

  • Thus a Frenchman, viewing the undraped statues which bedizen his native galleries of art, either enjoys them in a purely aesthetic fashion -- which is seldom possible save when he is in liquor -- or confesses frankly that he doesn't like them at all; whereas the visiting Americano is so powerfully shocked and fascinated by them that one finds him, the same evening, in places where no respectable man ought to go.

    Damn! A Book of Calumny

  • I don't know what sort of a way you'd bedizen yourself out if I'd let you, I'm sure.

    Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1907 to 1908

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Comments

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  • This is a lovely word and sounds just like its definition: rather OTT.

    October 13, 2014

  • "the tree shade bedizened with glints of declining sunlight.."

    Lord Foul's Bane

    July 29, 2012

  • to dress or adorn in a gaudy manner

    November 28, 2008