embellish

[em-bel-ish]

verb (used with object)

to beautify by or as if by ornamentation; ornament; adorn.
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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


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.

    Architecture

    Thomas Roger Smith


British Dictionary definitions for embellished

embellish

verb (tr)

to improve or beautify by adding detail or ornament; adorn
to make (a story) more interesting by adding detail
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

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