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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 embellished

Contemporary Examples of embellished

Historical Examples of embellished

  • No parterres, no fountains, no statues, embellished this little garden.

  • He had a pale face at the best of times, and it was embellished with straw-coloured hair.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

  • He exaggerated, embellished, and dramatised the story which he had related to his wife.

  • Before another day had passed the news item had been embellished.

    Galusha the Magnificent

    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • They, too, like the Egyptians, embellished their tombs with mural paintings.


    Thomas Roger Smith

British Dictionary definitions for embellished


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 embellished



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