verb (used with object)

to decorate with ornamental needlework.
to produce or form in needlework.
to adorn or embellish rhetorically, especially with ornate language or fictitious details: He embroidered the account of the shipwreck to hold his listeners' interest.

verb (used without object)

to do embroidery.
to add embellishments; exaggerate (often followed by on or upon).

Origin of embroider

1350–1400; em-1 + broider; replacing Middle English embroderen, frequentative of embroden < Middle French embro(u)der, equivalent to em- em-1 + Old French brosder, derivative of brosd < Germanic (see brad)
Related formsem·broi·der·er, nouno·ver·em·broi·der, verb (used with object)un·em·broi·dered, adjective

Synonyms for embroider

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

Examples from the Web for embroidered

Contemporary Examples of embroidered

Historical Examples of embroidered

  • That day she embroidered with her usual application and composure.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Indeed, on the morrow she seated herself at the work-frame and embroidered as she was wont to do.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Never before had the chasubles she embroidered been so resplendent with silk and gold.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • In embroidered robes of dull gold he sat high on his golden throne.

  • The boy went off, and the youth took a lute from an embroidered case.

British Dictionary definitions for embroidered



to do decorative needlework (upon)
to add fictitious or fanciful detail to (a story)
to add exaggerated or improbable details to (an account of an event, etc)
Derived Formsembroiderer, noun

Word Origin for embroider

C15: from Old French embroder; see em- en- 1, broider
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 embroidered



late 14c., from Anglo-French enbrouder, from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + broisder "embroider," from Frankish *brozdon, from Proto-Germanic *bruzdajanan. Spelling with -oi- is from c.1600, perhaps by influence of broiden, irregular alternative Middle English past participle of braid (v.). Related: Embroidered; embroidering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper