[dek-er-uh-tiv, dek-ruh-, dek-uh-rey-]


serving or tending to decorate.
Fine Arts. serving only to decorate, in contrast to providing a meaningful experience.

Origin of decorative

First recorded in 1785–95; decorate + -ive
Related formsdec·o·ra·tive·ly, adverbdec·o·ra·tive·ness, nounnon·dec·o·ra·tive, adjectiveo·ver·dec·o·ra·tive, adjectiveo·ver·dec·o·ra·tive·ly, adverbo·ver·dec·o·ra·tive·ness, nounun·dec·o·ra·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for decorative

Contemporary Examples of decorative

Historical Examples of decorative

British Dictionary definitions for decorative



serving to decorate or adorn; ornamental
Derived Formsdecoratively, adverbdecorativeness, 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

Word Origin and History for decorative

early 15c., from Middle French decoratif, from decorat-, past participle stem of Latin decorare (see decorate).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper