Definition of embellishment in English:


Pronunciation /ɪmˈbɛlɪʃm(ə)nt//ɛmˈbɛlɪʃm(ə)nt/


  • 1A decorative detail or feature added to something to make it more attractive.

    ‘architectural embellishments’
    • ‘Letters were stuck to headstones instructing mourners to remove ornaments and embellishments because they made the cemetery untidy.’
    • ‘The white walls of her room seemed to emanate a kind of purity, even as they stood placidly, stripped of all their ornaments and embellishments.’
    • ‘Elegant embellishments such as freeform beading, tiered tassels, piping insertions filled with fine rattail cord and pockets tailored with contrast welts are among his trademarks.’
    • ‘Many post & board fence designs feature decorative variations and embellishments that enhance their functional use while accenting their surroundings.’
    • ‘While these were practical necessities, in the hands of English craftsmen they were often transformed into decorative embellishments.’
    • ‘All contain decoration, embellishments, fringing, or cut-out design-work of the paper.’
    • ‘Photo Memories Accent Books feature accessories and embellishments for scrapbook pages and customized greeting cards.’
    • ‘Depending on the model, there are more than 40 changes made to the interior looks, including chrome embellishments on some wood trims, upgraded seat upholstery and new look switches.’
    • ‘The king's letter makes no reference to architectural embellishments; the beautification was entirely spiritual.’
    • ‘In the eighteenth century carvers and stucco artists of architectural embellishments were given a run for their money by molded composition ornament.’
    • ‘Prints further enhanced with surface embellishments created a vibrant and sensual appeal, thereby accentuating the ensemble.’
    • ‘Architectural embellishments, such as sills and lintels, however, were carved from sandstone.’
    • ‘In addition to indigenous fabrics and blends, intricate details like embroidery, embellishments and handpainting add distinctive touches to individual pieces.’
    • ‘Stage pillars are elaborately painted to resemble marble columns and, like other painted decorative embellishments, are in accordance with the sketchy historical evidence.’
    • ‘There is no particular theme and entrants can add any embellishments, decorative stitching and additional fabrics to reflect their individual personality.’
    • ‘There are several techniques for creating beautiful moldings and architectural embellishments for very little money.’
    • ‘If you have access to an embroidery machine, add an additional embellishment by embroidering a motif over the decorative or straight smocking stitches.’
    • ‘Sure enough, she finds #55, a brown brick building, square and squat with no architectural embellishments other than a gold stenciled name on the thick glass doors.’
    • ‘His warm and inviting tenor instinctively seems to attract the inflections and embellishments that grace his unforgettable melodies and his distinctive voice is among the most recognised and beloved in popular music.’
    • ‘Decorative embellishments consist of two cobalt blue swags extending from a central round cobalt blue floral motif to the left and right handles.’
    decoration, ornamentation, adornment
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A detail, especially one that is untrue, added to a statement or story to make it more interesting.
      ‘stripped of her embellishments, the core of hard fact was disappointingly small’
      • ‘Jefferson famously excised all miracles from his copy of the King James Bible; as a rationalist and a deist, he considered such stories to be needless embellishments.’
      • ‘It was always a great laugh listening to all the young single men on a Monday morning bragging about their weekend exploits with the usual embellishment on one or two stories!’
      • ‘One uproarious jape later, they had a story that, with a little embellishment, would keep them in drink for months, and possibly even form the basis of their next novel.’
      • ‘The old woman servant in the house, and her conversation with the heroine, constitute one of these artistic embellishments that turn a good story into an even better one.’
      • ‘To give additional force to the story, the Government media machine provided further false embellishments via background briefings on the existence of a gun.’
      • ‘If you have a chance to see the movie, you'll hear the main character's father tell the story, with the sort of embellishments that have nourished all the Alexander legends through the centuries.’
      • ‘The horror of their story needs no embellishment.’
      • ‘The first such question was asked by UFO researcher Philip J. Klass in 1967, who was checking an embellishment of the MacDougall story as told in a UFO book.’
      • ‘Cell is only a story, and its fanciful embellishments make it a rather good one.’
      • ‘Anderson has been ambitious in trying to combine the four gospels with background information, embellishments, and personal interpretation to try and reach readers over a wide age group.’
      • ‘Their story is told, with some embellishments but very effectively, in the German movie The Harmonists, which just opened in New York.’
      • ‘However, others will find that the historically grounded embellishments enliven the story of Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island lifesavers, a story that has been long overdue in its telling.’
      • ‘And now there are stories floating around about other embellishments and fibs that pad his past, like a Daytime Emmy he might have never received.’
      • ‘These misled readers, but most of his embellishments didn't fundamentally alter the import of the stories he was covering.’
      • ‘An extraordinary story is told, then retold with embellishments and remodeled with favorable points emphasized while unfavorable ones are dropped.’
      • ‘His non-disclosures and embellishments in the letter negatively impact upon his credibility.’
      • ‘Every time the story was told, a little more was added, a few embellishments created, until finally the story was unrecognizable as what really happened, but I liked it better that way, and so did everyone else.’
      • ‘The alleged recantation/conversion are embellishments that others have either read into the story or made up for themselves.’
      • ‘He took off like a shot behind her hoping to tell the story before Dorothy could add her awful embellishments.’
      • ‘The changes and embellishments to Poe's story don't really add up to enough to fill the running time.’
      elaboration, addition, exaggeration
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2mass noun The action of adding decorative details.
      ‘the embellishment of church interiors through the use of the visual arts’
      • ‘Programmes of building and sculptural embellishment of major churches, for example at Exeter, Lichfield and Winchester cathedrals, were halted by the outbreak of plague.’
      • ‘Now I'm looking forward to a whole new world of metal embellishment for my art.’
      • ‘My pizza cutters seek to demolish the sterile conformity of mass produced objects and represent the stylistic and flamboyant embellishment of groups who live on the fringe of popular culture.’
      • ‘His has become a name to reckon with in the construction and embellishment of houses, apartments, institutions and industrial establishments.’
      • ‘Municipal pride, manifested by artistic embellishment without utilitarian purpose, shone out from them.’
      • ‘Apart from the logical connection between a growing economy and building output, Goad's essay makes stylistic links between the two periods in terms of exuberance and attitudes towards embellishment and decoration.’
      • ‘This local competition has been linked, in part, to the battle for prestige between the guilds that were responsible for the maintenance, construction, and embellishment of the two churches.’
      • ‘Surprisingly, since this almost obsessive devotion to art making and home embellishment typically falls within the realm of the self-trained artist, Mary Nohl did study art.’
      • ‘Scrapbooking takes the elements of design, photography, typography, and embellishment and puts it into the realm of personal expression.’
      • ‘Author Guy Hubbard explores several pieces of art as he shares with us the rich history of embellishment in art.’
      • ‘Ribot's performances are sensitive yet nimble, never drawing attention with embellishment, but allowing the songs to shine.’
      • ‘Simón's masterpiece, the Capilla del Condestable at the east end of the cathedral, is characterized by his affection for sculptural embellishment.’
      • ‘To some extent we may include here the rebuilding or embellishment of parish churches in this period, although this phenomenon was a mixture of genuine piety, civic pride, and pride in personal achievements.’
      • ‘Therefore, to church members the Book of Mormon is not fiction, not pseudepigrapha, not literary embellishment, not a parable or an allegory, but a book about real people who lived in ancient times.’