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

  • transitive verb To furnish, provide, or adorn with something ornamental; embellish.
  • transitive verb To confer a medal or other honor on.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To distinguish; grace; honor.
  • To deck with something becoming or ornamental; adorn; beautify; embellish: as, to decorate the person; to decorate an edifice.
  • To confer distinction upon by means of a badge or medal of honor: as, to decorate an artist with the cross of the Legion of Honor.

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

  • transitive verb To deck with that which is becoming, ornamental, or honorary; to adorn; to beautify; to embellish
  • transitive verb (Arch.) a name given by some writers to the perfected English Gothic architecture; it may be considered as having flourished from about a. d. 1300 to a. d. 1375.

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

  • verb transitive To furnish with decorations.
  • verb transitive To improve the appearance of an interior of a house, room, office and so forth.
  • verb computing (transitive) (In some programming languages) To extend a method, etc. by attaching some further code item.

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

  • verb award a mark of honor, such as a medal, to
  • verb make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.
  • verb provide with decoration
  • verb be beautiful to look at


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

[From Middle English decorat, made beautiful, from Latin decorātus, past participle of decorāre, to beautify, from decus, decor-, honor, ornament; see dek- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin decoratus, past participle of decorare ("to adorn, distinguish, honor"), from decus ("ornament, grace, dignity, honor"), akin to decor ("elegance, grace, beauty, ornament"), from decet ("adorn, befit").



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  • I read all of my mother's decorator magazines throughout middle and high school. Chinoiserie was often used to describe antiques.

    See skipvia's Free Association List.

    February 4, 2008