[em-broi-duh-ree, -dree]
See more synonyms for embroidery on Thesaurus.com
noun, plural em·broi·der·ies.
  1. the art of working raised and ornamental designs in threads of silk, cotton, gold, silver, or other material, upon any woven fabric, leather, paper, etc., with a needle.
  2. embroidered work or ornamentation.
  3. elaboration or embellishment, as in telling a story.

Origin of embroidery

1350–1400; Middle English embrouderie needlework on cloth < Middle French embroud(er) + Middle English -erie -ery; oi from embroider
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for embroidery

Contemporary Examples of embroidery

Historical Examples of embroidery

  • Mrs. Raymount was sitting at the fireside with her embroidery.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • When that was finished, the three superb pieces of embroidery were put in their places.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • When her embroidery gave her mind a moment's leisure, she was astonished not to see Felicien.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • These were trimmed with embroidery, and came down to my brown kid boots.

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • Clotilde shrugged her shoulders, without lifting her eyes from her embroidery.

    Doctor Pascal

    Emile Zola

British Dictionary definitions for embroidery


noun plural -deries
  1. decorative needlework done usually on loosely woven cloth or canvas, often being a picture or pattern
  2. elaboration or exaggeration, esp in writing or reporting; embellishment
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 embroidery

late 14c., embrouderie "art of embroidering;" see embroider + -y (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper