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[uh-dawrn] /əˈdɔrn/
verb (used with object)
to decorate or add beauty to, as by ornaments:
garlands of flowers adorning their hair.
to make more pleasing, attractive, impressive, etc.; enhance:
Piety adorned Abigail's character.
Origin of adorn
1325-75; Middle English adornen < Latin adōrnāre, equivalent to ad- ad- + ōrnāre to dress (see ornate); replacing late Middle English aourne < Middle French < Latin
Related forms
adorner, noun
adorningly, adverb
nonadorner, noun
nonadorning, adjective
overadorn, verb (used with object)
overadorned, adjective
preadorn, verb (used with object)
readorn, verb (used with object)
readorning, adjective
self-adorning, adjective
superadorn, verb (used with object)
unadorned, adjective
well-adorned, adjective
1. beautify; deck, bedeck; bedizen, array. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for adorn
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Never mind; give it all the same; the picture will be of use, and we will adorn our attic with it.

  • In his present mood he was inclined to adorn himself with as many of them as possible.

    A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens
  • Not even the does and kangaroos that adorn the Park distracted or detained him?

    The Book of Khalid Ameen Rihani
  • She had thought that the young woman would try to adorn her habitation.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • Go back to the lies and hypocrisies of society, and the brainless, mashers who adorn it!

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • Then one of them asked him, "And you, O Cyrus, when will you adorn yourself?"

    Cyropaedia Xenophon
  • What followed does not amount to much when it comes to action with which to adorn a tale.

    When the West Was Young Frederick R. Bechdolt
  • Because,” said they, “of the noble qualities that adorn your mind.

British Dictionary definitions for adorn


verb (transitive)
to decorate: she adorned her hair with flowers
to increase the beauty, distinction, etc, of
Derived Forms
adornment, noun
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin adōrnāre, from ōrnāre to furnish, prepare
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for adorn

late 14c., "to decorate, embellish," also "be an ornament to," from Old French aorner "to order, arrange, dispose, equip; adorn," from Latin adornare "equip, provide, embellish," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + ornare "prepare, furnish, adorn, fit out," from stem of ordo "order" (see order (n.)). The -d- was reinserted by French scribes 14c., in English from late 15c. Related: Adorned; adorning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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