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embellish

[em-bel-ish] /ɛmˈbɛl ɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
1.
to beautify by or as if by ornamentation; ornament; adorn.
2.
to enhance (a statement or narrative) with fictitious additions.
Origin of embellish
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English embelisshen < Anglo-French, Middle French embeliss- (stem of embelir), equivalent to em- em-1 + bel- (< Latin bellus pretty) + -iss- -ish2
Related forms
embellisher, noun
nonembellished, adjective
nonembellishing, adjective
overembellish, verb (used with object)
reembellish, verb (used with object)
unembellished, adjective
Synonyms
1. decorate, garnish, bedeck, embroider.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for embellish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Since it was he, there was nothing to be feared for the window; were he to touch it, he would only embellish it.

    The Dream Emile Zola
  • "It is you, Prince, who embellish everything," I answered him.

    The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete Madame La Marquise De Montespan
  • A wife like that and a country-house is all one can wish for to embellish one's life.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • He was about to embellish this when she nodded with satisfaction.

    Louisiana Lou William West Winter
  • Everything must be done to embellish the theme or general idea.

  • Besides these works to embellish, he formed others to fortify the city.

British Dictionary definitions for embellish

embellish

/ɪmˈbɛlɪʃ/
verb (transitive)
1.
to improve or beautify by adding detail or ornament; adorn
2.
to make (a story) more interesting by adding detail
3.
to provide (a melody, part, etc) with ornaments See ornament (sense 5)
Derived Forms
embellisher, noun
embellishment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French embelir, from bel beautiful, from Latin bellus
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 embellish
v.

mid-14c., "to render beautiful," from Old French embelliss-, stem of embellir "make beautiful, ornament," from em- (see en- (1)) + bel "beautiful," from Latin bellus (see bene-). Meaning "dress up (a narration) with fictitious matter" is from mid-15c. Related: Embellished; embellishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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