Definitions

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

  • transitive verb To lend beauty to.
  • transitive verb To enhance or decorate with or as if with ornaments.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To beautify or decorate; increase or lend beauty or attractiveness to, as by dress or ornaments; hence, in general, to render pleasing, or more pleasing or attractive; embellish.
  • To display the beauty or excellence of: as, to “adorn the doctrine of God,” Tit. ii. 10.
  • noun Ornament.
  • Adorned; decorated.

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

  • noun obsolete Adornment.
  • adjective obsolete Adorned; decorated.
  • transitive verb To deck or dress with ornaments; to embellish; to set off to advantage; to render pleasing or attractive.

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

  • verb To make more beautiful and attractive; to decorate.

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

  • verb be beautiful to look at
  • verb furnish with power or authority; of kings or emperors
  • verb make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English adornen, from Old French adourner, from Latin adōrnāre : ad-, ad- + ōrnāre, to decorate; see ar- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English aournen (late Middle English adornen), from Old French aorner (Middle French adorner), from Latin adōrnāre, present active infinitive of adōrnō; from ad + ōrnō ("furnish, embellish"). See adore, ornate.

Examples

  • "Pietre dure," which means "hard stones" in Italian, adorn everything from small vases to giant cabinets.

    Royal Treasures at the Met

  • Although her face and her name adorn its website, there is no apparent reference on the site that she and Mr Lithgow are related.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • So, atheists that argue the point of whether jesus was the son of god or not, or whether or not the gospels were or were not written by the people who’s names they adorn is all just entertainment to fill time.

    Pious Atheism « Anglican Samizdat

  • The dimes are just there, begging the question: Do small-denomination coins adorn the streets in socialist countries?

    David Finkle: These Days It's Dimes That Are a Dime a Dozen

  • Sae's thoughts turned immediately to her beau. where the flowers of the same name adorn the gates, she began to act ever so slightly more direct towards him.

    Anime Nano!

  • The report also takes issue with the way the council's eco-labels adorn fish that have undergone serious declines.

    canada.com Top Stories

  • Photographs of ships bearing the pub's name adorn the walls of this street-corner pub run by Paul Hexter and wife Frankie - although it's a competition between the pub and Paul for who is most famous.

    The Independent - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • No subtitles adorn this release, but Closed Captioning is available.

    Epinions Recent Content for Home

  • Photographs of ships bearing the pub's name adorn the walls of this street-corner pub run by Paul Hexter and wife Frankie - although it's a competition between the pub and Paul for who is most famous.

    The Independent - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • MacDowell said the decision to have the Lemmond name adorn what had been known as the Walsh

    Times Leader News

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