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 formsa·dorn·er, nouna·dorn·ing·ly, adverbnon·a·dorn·er, nounnon·a·dorn·ing, adjectiveo·ver·a·dorn, verb (used with object)o·ver·a·dorned, adjectivepre·a·dorn, verb (used with object)re·a·dorn, verb (used with object)re·a·dorn·ing, adjectiveself-a·dorn·ing, adjectivesu·per·a·dorn, verb (used with object)un·a·dorned, adjectivewell-a·dorned, adjective

Synonyms for adorn Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for adorn

Contemporary Examples of adorn

Historical Examples of adorn

  • 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

British Dictionary definitions for adorn


verb (tr)

to decorateshe adorned her hair with flowers
to increase the beauty, distinction, etc, of
Derived Formsadornment, noun

Word Origin for adorn

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

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