[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

Related Words for decorative

ornamental, fancy, cosmetic, florid, pretty

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