[ uh-dawrn ]
See synonyms for adorn on
verb (used with object)
  1. to decorate or add beauty to, as by ornaments: garlands of flowers adorning their hair.

  2. to make more pleasing, attractive, impressive, etc.; enhance: Piety adorned Abigail's character.

Origin of adorn

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English adornen, from Latin adōrnāre, equivalent to ad- ad- + ōrnāre “to dress” (see ornate); replacing late Middle English aourne, from Middle French, from Latin

Other words for adorn

Other words from adorn

  • a·dorn·er, noun
  • a·dorn·ing·ly, adverb
  • non·a·dorn·er, noun
  • non·a·dorn·ing, adjective
  • o·ver·a·dorn, verb (used with object)
  • pre·a·dorn, verb (used with object)
  • re·a·dorn, verb (used with object)
  • re·a·dorn·ing, adjective
  • self-a·dorn·ing, adjective
  • su·per·a·dorn, verb (used with object) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use adorn in a sentence

  • Jansoulet adorning himself with Jenkins's ribbon might very well have been guilty of illegality.

    The Nabob | Alphonse Daudet
  • The adorning of themselves was for this express and particular end.

    Xerxes | Jacob Abbott
  • Thomas, being summoned, proved to be a tall lad possessing an honest and ingratiating smile, adorning a fair and open countenance.

    Mrs. Vanderstein's jewels | Mrs. Charles Bryce
  • I amused myself in adorning them with all the charms of the sex I had always adored.

  • He is here, adorning, by a life of severe simplicity and divine benevolence, the doctrine he has espoused.

    Aurelian | William Ware

British Dictionary definitions for adorn


/ (əˈdɔːn) /

  1. to decorate: she adorned her hair with flowers

  2. to increase the beauty, distinction, etc, of

Origin of adorn

C14: via Old French from Latin adōrnāre, from ōrnāre to furnish, prepare

Derived forms of adorn

  • adornment, noun

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