[em-broi-duh-ree, -dree]

noun, plural em·broi·der·ies.

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.
embroidered work or ornamentation.
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. 2019

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

decorative needlework done usually on loosely woven cloth or canvas, often being a picture or pattern
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