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[dek-uh-reyt] /ˈdɛk əˌreɪt/
verb (used with object), decorated, decorating.
to furnish or adorn with something ornamental or becoming; embellish:
to decorate walls with murals.
to plan and execute the design, furnishings, and ornamentation of the interior of (a house, office, apartment, etc.), especially by selecting colors, fabrics, and style of furniture, by making minor structural changes, etc.:
Their house is decorated in French Provincial style.
to confer distinction upon by a badge, a medal of honor, etc.:
to decorate a soldier for valor.
Origin of decorate
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English (adj.) < Latin decorātus (past participle of decorāre), equivalent to decor- (stem of decus) an ornament, splendor, honor (see decent) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
overdecorate, verb, overdecorated, overdecorating.
redecorate, verb, redecorated, redecorating.
undecorate, verb (used with object), undecorated, undecorating.
1. ornament, bedeck, trim, garnish, festoon. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for redecorate
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If he has ways you don't approve, you can cure them; redecorate and remodel him with the latest American improvements.

    It Happened in Egypt C. N. Williamson
  • Im going to redecorate it inside and out, and the place is right in the center of the busiest part of the beach.

  • When we redecorate round here it takes Miss Faithful about a half hour to plan the show.

    The Gorgeous Girl

    Nalbro Bartley
  • She consulted me in regard to a room she wanted to redecorate, a bronze that she was considering.

    The Fifth Wheel Olive Higgins Prouty
British Dictionary definitions for redecorate


to paint or wallpaper (a room, house, etc) again
Derived Forms
redecoration, noun


(transitive) to make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc
to paint or wallpaper (a room, house, etc)
(transitive) to confer a mark of distinction, esp a military medal, upon
(transitive) to evaporate a metal film onto (a crystal) in order to display dislocations in structure
Word Origin
C16: from Latin decorāre, from decus adornment; see decent
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 redecorate



early 15c., from Latin decoratus, past participle of decorare "to decorate, adorn, embellish, beautify," from decus (genitive decoris) "an ornament," from PIE root *dek- "to receive, be suitable" (see decent). Related: Decorated; decorating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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