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

  • transitive verb To make beautiful, as by ornamentation; decorate.
  • transitive verb To add ornamental or fictitious details to.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.

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

  • transitive verb To make beautiful or elegant by ornaments; to decorate; to adorn.

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

  • verb To make more beautiful and attractive; to decorate.
  • verb To make something sound or look better or more acceptable than it is in reality, to distort.

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

  • verb make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.
  • verb add details to
  • verb make more beautiful
  • verb be beautiful to look at


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

[Middle English embelishen, from Old French embellir, embelliss- : en-, causative pref.; see en– + bel, beautiful (from Latin bellus; see deu- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French embellir.


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