Definition of ornate in English:



  • 1Elaborately or highly decorated.

    ‘an ornate wrought-iron railing’
    • ‘The settings range from a stormy sea to a bus stop; all verge on dizzying unreadability due to ornate decorative patterning.’
    • ‘Park benches, small statues, decorative flower beds and ornate lamp-posts dotted the park at discreet distances from each other.’
    • ‘Using a soft brush attachment she slowly cleans the ornate, rococo gilt frame surrounding a magnificent portrait by George Romney.’
    • ‘There they even have an exquisite Chess Room, filled with ornate and decorative sets from around the world, all gifted by foreign delegations.’
    • ‘But these are no ordinary bridges they are the most elaborate bridges you have ever seen with ornate statues and balustrades, turrets and towers.’
    • ‘The decoration was much more ornate than had been seen on most houses, even exquisite manors like the Big House and the Roscoe House.’
    • ‘Such high ceilings are everywhere - with more long corridors, elaborate and ornate walls and works of art on display.’
    • ‘Moreover, the design is asymmetrical: Each side is different from the other, which makes the ornate decoration look even more exotic.’
    • ‘Across the hall is a spacious drawing room with a large bay window, ornate marble fireplace, decorative plaster coving and ceiling rose.’
    • ‘Each is massively framed by an ornate gilt rococo cartouche carved by Giovanni Giuliani in 1706.’
    • ‘So far they have dreamed up murals to decorate wasteland, ornate gates for a park and colourful name signs at an estate in Farnworth where streets are named after flowers.’
    • ‘Now, people are picking elaborate color schemes and ornate frames.’
    • ‘Both the drawing room and dining room have ornate fireplaces and decorative cornicing with large windows looking out over the gardens.’
    • ‘Most of the frescoes on the ceiling are gone, but there are ornate chandeliers, and putti attend the plaster reliefs above.’
    • ‘The Baroque churches of Rome were imitated throughout Europe, their ornate altars enclosing a single painting or sculptural group providing a model for many years.’
    • ‘They have been found before but rarely with such ornate decoration and never in South Lakeland.’
    • ‘While poster art continued to prosper, the ornate details of Art Nouveau vanished.’
    • ‘The rest of our time is spent in silence, until we arrive at an ornate door decorated with cranes and dragons.’
    • ‘Wrought iron, often in ornate patterns, decorated many public buildings, bridges, and the verandahs of many homes.’
    • ‘These restaurants are elegant and charming, often with ornate decorations and some of the best food in the city.’
    elaborate, decorated, embellished, adorned, ornamented, fancy, over-elaborate, fussy, busy, ostentatious, showy, baroque, rococo, florid, wedding-cake, gingerbread
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    1. 1.1 (of literary style) using unusual words and complex constructions.
      ‘peculiarly ornate and metaphorical language’
      • ‘Just as this statue in abandoning the straight line suggests movement and grace, the speaker too should favour an ornate style and introduce grace and variety.’
      • ‘His German epic entitled Parzifal is a massive literary production and was highly ornate in style.’
      • ‘As a consequence, these genres do not strive to show events in their experiential immediacy and do not use an excessively ornate style of presentation.’
      • ‘The style is ornate, lyrical, and sensual, perhaps too much so for English tastes, as the Quartet tends to be more highly regarded abroad than in Britain.’
      • ‘Linguistic style: Someone may write in an ornate style, speak in a laconic style, and have an aggressive style when arguing.’
      elaborate, over-elaborate, flowery, florid, flamboyant
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    2. 1.2 (of musical composition or performance) using many ornaments such as grace notes and trills.
      • ‘Evolving melodies over harmonic/rhythmic ostinatos; ornate melodies over drones - do these count as techniques?’
      • ‘The other singers are specialists in the Baroque repertoire, and are unfazed by Vivaldi's ornate and virtuosic writing.’
      • ‘Where Brubeck does fall down is in his overly ornate arrangements, all painstakingly constructed to seemingly draw as many parallels with classical music as possible.’
      • ‘It occurs in all musical forms, from the first antler beaten against a taut animal skin to the most ornate symphony.’
      • ‘On the plus side was the intriguingly ornate solo piano part, with florid additions, one may speculate, to compensate for the thinner strings.’
      • ‘David Kuebler brings a heroic touch to Nerone, and copes well with Handel's ornate divisions.’
      • ‘On the other hand, Vivaldi's ornate writing for solo voices is much in evidence.’


Late Middle English: from Latin ornatus ‘adorned’, past participle of ornare.