from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A string or garland, as of leaves or flowers, suspended in a loop or curve between two points.
  • noun A representation of such a string or garland, as in painting or sculpture.
  • transitive verb To decorate with or as if with festoons; hang festoons on.
  • transitive verb To form or make into festoons.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To form in festoons; adorn with festoons; connect by festoons.
  • noun A British collectors' name for a European limacodid moth, Apoda testudo, yellow-brown in color with narrow brown stripes arranged like a festoon.
  • noun A string or chain of any material suspended between two points; specifically, a chain or garland of flowers, ribbons, foliage, etc., suspended so as to form one or more depending curves.
  • noun In architecture, a sculptured ornament in imitation of a garland of fruits, leaves, or flowers suspended between two points; an encarpus. See cut under encarpus.
  • noun A form of drooping cloud sometimes seen on the under surface of dense cirro-stratus clouds. Also called pocky cloud.
  • noun In ornithology, specifically, a lobe on the cutting edge of a hawk's beak.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To form in festoons, or to adorn with festoons.
  • noun A garland or wreath hanging in a depending curve, used in decoration for festivals, etc.; anything arranged in this way.
  • noun (Arch. & Sculp.) A carved ornament consisting of flowers, and leaves, intermixed or twisted together, wound with a ribbon, and hanging or depending in a natural curve. See Illust. of Bucranium.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An ornament such as a garland or chain which hangs loosely from two tacked spots.
  • noun architecture A bas-relief, painting, or structural motif resembling such an ornament.
  • noun A raised cable with light globes attached.
  • noun astronomy A cloud on Jupiter that hangs out of its home belt or zone into an adjacent area forming a curved finger-like image or a complete loop back to its home belt or zone.
  • noun entomology Any of a series of wrinkles on the backs of some ticks.
  • verb To hang ornaments, such as garlands or chains, which hang loosely from two tacked spots.
  • verb To make festoons.
  • verb To decorate or bedeck abundantly.

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

  • noun a curtain of fabric draped and bound at intervals to form graceful curves
  • verb decorate with strings of flowers
  • noun an embellishment consisting of a decorative representation of a string of flowers suspended between two points; used on pottery or in architectural work
  • noun flower chains suspended in curves between points as a decoration


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

[French feston, from Italian festone, from festa, feast, from Vulgar Latin *fēsta; see feast.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French feston


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  • Definition: (noun) 1 : a decorative chain or strip hanging between two points

    2 : a carved, molded, or painted ornament representing a decorative chain

    Also: festoonery.

    January 15, 2007

  • “McDonald’s hasn’t silenced nutritional critics; some of its salads come festooned with fried chicken.�?

    The New York Times, At McDonald’s, the Happiest Meal Is Hot Profits, by Andrew Martin, January 10, 2009

    January 11, 2009

  • The great wall of vegetation, an exuberant and entangled mass of trunks, branches, leaves, boughs, festoons, motionless in the moonlight, was like a rioting invasion of soundless life, a rolling wave of plants, piled up, crested, ready to topple over the creek, to sweep every little man of us out of his little existence.

    --Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad

    March 9, 2011

  • Perhaps best use of "festoon" I've seen:

    A group of Italian restorers have been accused of essentially ruining a classic work of art called the Tree of Fertility by getting rid of a tree "festooned with penises and testicles over a group of nine women, one of whom appears to be attempting to snag a penis with a hook."


    April 22, 2014

  • A feature of the well-run saloon

    Was the bright and hygienic spittoon.

    If absent the spit

    That chewers emit

    Would leave a mephitic festoon.

    April 22, 2014