Definitions

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

  • adj. Elaborately, heavily, and often excessively ornamented.
  • adj. Flashy, showy, or florid in style or manner; flowery.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Elaborately ornamented, often to excess.
  • adj. Flashy, flowery or showy
  • v. To adorn; to honour.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Elaborately adorned or decorated; beautifully sumptuous.
  • adj. Finely finished, as a style of composition.
  • transitive v. To adorn; to honor.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To adorn; ornament.
  • Ornamented; artistically finished; ornamental; of an ornamental character: especially applied to an elaborate literary style.
  • Adorned; decorated.

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

  • adj. marked by elaborate rhetoric and elaborated with decorative details

Etymologies

Middle English, from Latin ōrnātus, past participle of ōrnāre, to embellish; see ar- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin ornatus, past participle of ornare ("to equip, adorn"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The modern-meets-sultry pumps and flats in ornate silk patterns could be worn with a silk qipao, or form-fitting dress.

    The Bling Dynasty

  • Awesome, a creepy-looking ex-Nazi Pope in ornate robes and a huge funny hat.

    Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog:

  • Rich in ornate mosques, Islamic tombs, cave churches, centuries old houses carved in the limestone cliffs, the entire site will be inundated.

    Seuthopolis

  • Examples (N.B. big images): "Head study", a very nice studio portrait of an unnamed red-haired lady; Kush-Beggi (Minister of the Interior) of Bukhara, in ornate robes on an almost as ornate carpet; the riverside city of Vitebsk; and a "Compound" steam engine with a Schmidt super-heater.

    Archive 2004-01-01

  • But also on the Greek Parnassus of that time sat the same connoisseurs of degeneration who, in ornate words, declared their pessimistic conviction that nothing in this world was worth anything except their ability to express perfectly this very thought.

    Nobel Prize in Literature 1979 - Presentation Speech

  • "Missing Soldiers Office," it read in ornate gold lettering on a black background. "3rd.

    Clara Barton's D.C. home and office may be converted into museum

  • What Ms. Surno describes as an "ornate, lush, gorgeous orgy" is a 29-minute phantasmagoria.

    Making Beautiful Music With Film

  • She wore a collar of a sort, rather high and ornate, which is often jeweled.

    Kajira Of Gor

  • For architecture, among all the arts, is the one that most boldly tries to reproduce in its rhythm the order of the universe, which the ancients called "kosmos," that is to say ornate, since it is like a great animal on whom there shine the perfection and the proportion of all its members.

    The Name of the Rose

  • It was much too ornate, that is certain; and it alone would have made him absurd had not fate joined forces against him and at precisely this point prompted Harry, who was for once impatient with his progress, to try to reproduce the larger music coursing through his soul.

    Tutors' Lane

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