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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.
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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

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

Related Words

bedeckexaggerategildoverstatefestoonembroideradorntrimmagnifydeckcolorenrichelaborateornamentbeautifyenhancearraygarnishfudgegrace

Examples from the Web for embellish

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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)
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Derived Formsembellisher, nounembellishment, noun

Word Origin

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper