embellish

[em-bel-ish]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to beautify by or as if by ornamentation; ornament; adorn.
  2. to enhance (a statement or narrative) with fictitious additions.

Origin of embellish

1300–50; Middle English embelisshen < Anglo-French, Middle French embeliss- (stem of embelir), equivalent to em- em-1 + bel- (< Latin bellus pretty) + -iss- -ish2
Related formsem·bel·lish·er, nounnon·em·bel·lished, adjectivenon·em·bel·lish·ing, adjectiveo·ver·em·bel·lish, verb (used with object)re·em·bel·lish, verb (used with object)un·em·bel·lished, adjective

Synonyms for embellish

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018


Examples from the Web for embellish

Contemporary Examples of embellish

Historical Examples of embellish

  • Since it was he, there was nothing to be feared for the window; were he to touch it, he would only embellish it.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • "It is you, Prince, who embellish everything," I answered him.

    The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete

    Madame La Marquise De Montespan

  • He was about to embellish this when she nodded with satisfaction.

    Louisiana Lou

    William West Winter

  • A wife like that and a country-house is all one can wish for to embellish one's life.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • Everything must be done to embellish the theme or general idea.


British Dictionary definitions for embellish

embellish

verb (tr)
  1. to improve or beautify by adding detail or ornament; adorn
  2. to make (a story) more interesting by adding detail
  3. to provide (a melody, part, etc) with ornamentsSee ornament (def. 5)
Derived Formsembellisher, nounembellishment, noun

Word Origin for embellish

C14: from Old French embelir, from bel beautiful, from Latin bellus
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 embellish
v.

mid-14c., "to render beautiful," from Old French embelliss-, stem of embellir "make beautiful, ornament," from em- (see en- (1)) + bel "beautiful," from Latin bellus (see bene-). Meaning "dress up (a narration) with fictitious matter" is from mid-15c. Related: Embellished; embellishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper