American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To make beautiful, as by ornamentation; decorate.
- v. To add ornamental or fictitious details to: a fanciful account that embellishes the true story.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To set off with ornamentation; make beautiful, pleasing, or attractive to the eye or the mind; adorn; decorate; deck: as, to embellish the person with rich apparel; to embellish a garden with shrubs and flowers; a style embellished by metaphors; a book embellished by engravings.
- Synonyms Ornament, Decorate, etc. (see adorn). See list under decorate.
- v. To make more beautiful and attractive; to decorate.
- v. To make something sound or look better or more acceptable than it is in reality, to distort.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. To make beautiful or elegant by ornaments; to decorate; to adorn.
- v. make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.
- v. add details to
- v. make more beautiful
- v. be beautiful to look at
- From Old French embellir. (Wiktionary)
- Middle English embelishen, from Old French embellir, embelliss- : en-, causative pref.; see en-1 + bel, beautiful (from Latin bellus; see deu-2 in Indo-European roots). (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The only circle I didn't embellish is the one that looks like a button - this is actually a tiny scrap of a sunprinted fabric (sunprinted with buttons, that is).”
“I just recently lied (though I prefer the word embellish) about my height by an inch.”
“We kind of embellish on that, I guess you could say.”
“He pronounced "embellish" with a fancy-pants cadence.”
“These worthies took upon themselves to mutilate the sculpture work on the marvellous façade and to "embellish" the austere cathedral with Gothic decorations of cardboard.”
“By 'embellish' he meant the share the artist has to bring to his picture in the first place. ”
“Just a thought: "I wonder how many of us have lied, decieved, misled our tax officals or cheated on a exam and recieved a grade we did not deserve or embellish our resumes to make us look more marketable.”
“So Stetson has felt compelled to exaggerate and embellish what he actually did, and in some cases, make up or take credit for things he didn't do.”
“Not really happy with this – the decoration is more to hide the uninteresting food than it is to embellish it.”
“One Web app asks users to embellish on what they see in district boundaries.”
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English verbs that end in -ish.
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