Definitions

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

  • noun The act of embellishing or the state of being embellished.
  • noun Something that embellishes; a decoration.
  • noun Music A note that embellishes a melody.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of embellishing, or the state of being embellished.
  • noun Ornament; decoration; anything that adds beauty or elegance; that which renders anything tasteful or pleasing to the sense: as, rich dresses are embellishments, of the person; virtue is an embellishment of the mind.
  • noun Specifically In music, an ornamental addition to the essential tones of a melody, such as a trill, an appoggiatura, a turn, etc.; a grace or decoration.

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

  • noun The act of adorning, or the state of being adorned; adornment.
  • noun That which adds beauty or elegance; ornament; decoration.

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

  • noun An unnecessarily added touch, an ornamental addition, a flourish.

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

  • noun elaboration of an interpretation by the use of decorative (sometimes fictitious) detail
  • noun a superfluous ornament
  • noun the act of adding extraneous decorations to something

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

embellish +‎ -ment

Examples

  • The smoke-key embellishment is a result of some experimenting I did with etching metal.

    Kater’s Art » Blog Archive » Smoke Key Book

  • Which wasn't entirely true; by one account, "Don't Mess Around With Jim" once had upwards of 30 verses, but he knew how to make his point and wasn't interested in embellishment.

    You Don't Mess Around With Jim

  • Mature enough by this time to realize that his account of his time at Business International could be described as embellishment

    UNCoRRELATED

  • Which wasn't entirely true; by one account, "Don't Mess Around With Jim" once had upwards of 30 verses, but he knew how to make his point and wasn't interested in embellishment.

    October 2006

  • He draws an analogy between brownstone architecture in New York City ("the elaborate carvings, gargoyles, and beautiful iron fences?") and how their embellishment was the work of individual craftsmen and not part of the orginal specification (do "beautiful fretwork" here).

    Lipsticking The Chicken

  • He draws an analogy between brownstone architecture in New York City ("the elaborate carvings, gargoyles, and beautiful iron fences?") and how their embellishment was the work of individual craftsmen and not part of the orginal specification (do "beautiful fretwork" here).

    January 2006

  • Christianity alone receives no embellishment from the magic of Gibbon’s language; his imagination is dead to its moral dignity; it is kept down by a general zone of jealous disparagement, or neutralized by

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • Nature, not art, is the great standard of her manners; and her exterior wears no varnish, or embellishment, which is not the genuine signature of an open, undesigning, and benevolent mind.

    Sketches of the Fair Sex, in All Parts of the World

  • By throwing the weight upon eight strong piers and arches instead of four, he has probably guarded against the recurrence of a similar accident; at the same time he has given a larger space, a more agreeable form, and greater scope for embellishment, which is, however, most judiciously confined within such limits as not to interfere with sober and impressive grandeur.

    Ely Cathedral

  • Many simple, perhaps, but beautiful and refined, characteristics of the composer or performer, may pass unnoticed; but some common-place embellishment, which is considered safe, will command the expression of approbation which the trait of real genius had failed to elicit.

    Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 54, No. 333, July 1843

Comments

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  • Holmes often accuses Watson of doing this when he writes up their cases.

    December 24, 2012