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

  • transitive v. To lend beauty to: "the pale mimosas that adorned the favorite promenade” ( Ronald Firbank).
  • transitive v. To enhance or decorate with or as if with ornaments: "[He] requires the presence of titles to legitimate and adorn . . . his imperfect status” ( Cynthia Ozick).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Adorned; decorated.
  • n. Adornment.
  • transitive v. To deck or dress with ornaments; to embellish; to set off to advantage; to render pleasing or attractive.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • Adorned; decorated.
  • n. Ornament.

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

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


Middle English adornen, from Old French adourner, from Latin adōrnāre : ad-, ad- + ōrnāre, to decorate; see ar- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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. (Wiktionary)



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