[dek-uh-rey-shuh n]
See more synonyms for decoration on
  1. something used for decorating; adornment; embellishment: The gymnasium was adorned with posters and crepe-paper decorations for the dance.
  2. the act of decorating.
  3. interior decoration.
  4. a badge, medal, etc., conferred and worn as a mark of honor: a decoration for bravery.

Origin of decoration

1575–85; < Late Latin decorātiōn- (stem of decorātiō) an ornament. See decorate, -ion
Related formsnon·dec·o·ra·tion, nouno·ver·dec·o·ra·tion, nounre·dec·o·ra·tion, nounsu·per·dec·o·ra·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for decoration

Contemporary Examples of decoration

Historical Examples of decoration

  • It fell to young Ried to appoint the committee on decoration.

  • The fashion of its ornament and decoration was foreign to that adopted by the Moors of Granada.

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • The bills, as a variety in the funeral procession, almost amounted to a decoration.

    Little Dorrit

    Charles Dickens

  • The style of the decoration approaches the Early English character.

    English Villages

    P. H. Ditchfield

  • The voice was Coryston's, directed apparently at the Adam decoration of the ceiling.

    The Coryston Family

    Mrs. Humphry Ward

British Dictionary definitions for decoration


  1. an addition that renders something more attractive or ornate; adornment
  2. the act, process, or art of decorating
  3. a medal, badge, etc, conferred as a mark of honour
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 decoration

early 15c., "action of decorating, beautification," from Late Latin decorationem (nominative decoratio), noun of action from past participle stem of decorare (see decorate). Meaning "that which decorates" is from 1670s. As "a badge or medal worn as a mark of honor," it is attested from 1816 (often in plural, decorations).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper