Definition of embroider in English:



  • 1with object Decorate (cloth) by sewing patterns on it with thread.

    ‘she embroidered a tablecloth’
    ‘an embroidered handkerchief’
    no object ‘she was teaching the girls how to embroider’
    • ‘I looked down at my pink pajama pants, which were embroidered with a pattern of brown bunnies.’
    • ‘The sleeves, neckline, and hem had been embroidered with gold thread.’
    • ‘She had great dedication to the church and some years ago embroidered the altar cloths for Saleen Church.’
    • ‘It also can cause embroidered fabric to appear puckered or stretched.’
    • ‘You can see their feet sticking out from beneath an elaborately embroidered cloth.’
    • ‘Grabbing a black embroidered cloth, he hopped off round Coppergate looking for somewhere to show off his levitating skills.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, Sewing Mistress made me embroider them, so they look funny, for who ever saw sturdy slippers with bluebirds and flowers on them?’
    • ‘Ideally you will be carrying a little prettily patterned or embroidered envelope containing your toilet tissues, and a similarly attractive hand towel about the size of a face cloth.’
    • ‘The other woman, Grace, is wearing a long coat patched together out of sky-blue velvet and emerald silk and ivory lace and embroidered upholstery fabric.’
    • ‘Elaborately embroidered velvets and silks apart from classic saris and brocades with some material dating back to late 18th Century are showcased.’
    • ‘Cloths are normally embroidered individually rather than by pairs or groups of women.’
    • ‘Rich, embroidered fabrics such as velvets add class and warmth, and embellishment is definitely in.’
    • ‘And she was wearing a little red dress with a white collar that was embroidered with patterns in red thread.’
    • ‘As a little girl I used to watch my aunt embroider pillow-covers, handkerchiefs, dupattas, baby-dresses, you name it.’
    • ‘Geraldine McCughrean, from Newbury, chose embroidered linen from East, which she wore with her beige coat from Gratten for a loose, chic, Virgina Woolf feel.’
    • ‘The scarecrows are variously made of papier mache, embroidered fabric, straw and plastic bags stuffed with newspaper.’
    • ‘She brings out a suitcase full of intricately embroidered cloths that she is preparing for her daughter's dowry.’
    • ‘The Bayeux Tapestry was embroidered by English needlewomen, although it is generally thought to be a rather inferior example of Anglo-Saxon needlework despite it's huge size.’
    • ‘Clasped behind the helmet on the neckband was delicately embroidered silk, decorated with jewels and parrots stitched between painted purple flowers.’
    • ‘Featuring a variety of household goods at affordable prices, the high end range includes complex patchwork and embroidered linen.’
    decorate, adorn, ornament, embellish
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    1. 1.1 Sew (a design) on cloth with thread.
      ‘a chunky sweater with embroidered flowers’
      • ‘Francis creates her work using fabric, scissors and a sewing machine to embroider collages into images.’
      • ‘Each one wears a full-length cape of a different color, with an elaborate flower or bamboo design embroidered on it.’
      • ‘If you have access to an embroidery machine, add an additional embellishment by embroidering a motif over the decorative or straight smocking stitches.’
      • ‘If the person was special I'd cover it with cross-stitch fabric on which I'd embroider some flowers and a quote (can't believe I did such things).’
      • ‘She had embroidered flowers and lace in a beautiful pattern.’
      • ‘There were hand embroidered tiny blue flowers along the bottom, neck line, and cuffs.’
      • ‘What's more, there are varying designs on the garments, like embroidered pitch-stitch flowers.’
      • ‘Gold embroidered flowers ran their way around her torso.’
      • ‘If you are wondering what to do with your old sweaters, get them dyed to give them a new look and embroider some flowers or a paisley print on them.’
      • ‘For the best results aligning the designs over seams, embroider a sample of the chosen design with black thread on white fabric that is the same or a similar weight and texture as the project fabric.’
      • ‘After the pattern is embroidered on the net, the thread is removed one by one.’
      • ‘These two objects were regularly embroidered on bras, indicating that the owner would lead a long and happy life.’
      • ‘The next time you admire beautiful embroidery on a sari while on window-shopping spree, chances are that a machine embroidered those intricate patterns.’
      • ‘The whole green dress had delicate gold embroidered intricate flowers all over.’
      • ‘In later centuries, ladies would compete with each other to embroider beautiful designs on the balls, using silk threads.’
      • ‘She had been sitting in the window, embroidering some impossibly fine design.’
      • ‘She had said nothing, only went back to embroidering a design.’
      • ‘On the top of the skirt, it had fawn mesh a little longer than the actual dress, but black flowers were embroidered on it.’
      • ‘I began to embroider an intricate design of Sweden's mountains during sunrise.’
      • ‘I held my foot out to her so she could get a better look at the cream heels that matched the fabric of my dress, the same little gold embroidered patterns weaving around the shoe, only with little sparkles of gems and beads sewn into them as well.’
  • 2Add fictitious or exaggerated details to (an account) to make it more interesting.

    ‘she embroidered her stories with colourful detail’
    • ‘This is almost a novel, with long verbatim passages from various documents of the time and scenes where he embroiders extensively on the scarce facts available.’
    • ‘Many refuse, choosing instead to embroider on whatever rumors, exaggerations and pet theories are circulating in the occupied territories.’
    • ‘Lang biographers recall that the director often referred to this discussion in later life and liked to embroider some of the details.’
    • ‘Many of my stories were embroidered, exaggerated or wholly invented.’
    • ‘Though if you made up and told her about fake girlfriends and fake relationships and other details to embroider the lie, then you've dug a deeper hole than I'm interpreting.’
    • ‘He has the ability to make the art of storytelling appear easy, and his films often feel like delicate anecdotes, embroidered with quirky detail and recalled with warm affection.’
    • ‘Marius, unprepared for this, had to flee (the flight was later embroidered with dramatic detail), finding safety at Cercina, a colony of his veterans off Africa.’
    • ‘Taylor-Taylor, in particular, delights in embroidering stories for his own and the media's entertainment.’
    • ‘After a certain amount of time they have very little new or interesting to add and there is a temptation to embroider.’
    • ‘One such narrative, based on truth but embroidered with details highlighting the message, is the tale of Simpson and his donkey.’
    • ‘Historical, psychological and spiritual themes embroider the simple ghost story and contribute poignance and depth to what would amount to little more than a campfire tale in terms of plot.’
    • ‘He didn't actually call for Colless's head but he did embroider the story with enough venom for his followers to take up the cudgel.’
    elaborate, embellish, colour, enlarge on, exaggerate, catastrophize
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Late Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French enbrouder, from en- ‘in, on’ + Old French brouder, broisder ‘decorate with embroidery’, of Germanic origin.