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[awr-neyt] /ɔrˈneɪt/
elaborately or sumptuously adorned, often excessively or showily so:
They bought an ornate Louis XIV sofa.
embellished with rhetoric; florid or high-flown:
an ornate style of writing.
Origin of ornate
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin ornātus well-equipped, adorned, orig. past participle of ornāre to equip; see -ate1
Related forms
ornately, adverb
ornateness, noun
unornate, adjective
unornately, adverb
unornateness, noun
1. showy, ostentatious; rich, lavish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ornateness
Historical Examples
  • As we should expect, there is a fairly steady movement from simplicity to ornateness.

    Old Picture Books Alfred W. Pollard
  • There was a striving for effect, with ornateness and extravagance, and finally the art passed out entirely.

  • The ornateness of architecture appears in the East and West in nearly equal measure.

    Prowling about Panama George A. Miller
  • The writing masters of that time cared far more for ornateness than for verity, or even legibility.

    A Captain in the Ranks

    George Cary Eggleston
  • It was the time when ornateness of figure and poeticalness of diction were regarded as essentials of style.

  • Some of the extra-illuminated books of this period are among the most beautiful printed books ever issued in their ornateness.

    The Century of Columbus James J. Walsh
  • The prize tools reflected little of the ornateness apparent in the wares of most of the other exhibitors.

  • The emphasis in these rhetorics on style is the same: ornateness in communication is achieved through using the figures.

  • It is a sound policy to avoid the ornateness that frequently accompanies a large and unskillfully planned area.

    Industrial Arts Design William H. Varnum
  • Tristrem repeated, utterly unimpressed by the ornateness of the novelist's remarks.

British Dictionary definitions for ornateness


heavily or elaborately decorated
(of style in writing) overembellished; flowery
Derived Forms
ornately, adverb
ornateness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin ornāre to decorate
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 ornateness



early 15c., from Latin ornatus "fitted out, furnished, supplied; adorned, decorated, embellished," past participle of ornare "adorn, fit out," from stem of ordo "order" (see order (n.)). Earliest reference is to literary style. Related: Ornately; ornateness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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