Definition of embellish in English:



  • 1 Make (something) more attractive by the addition of decorative details or features.

    ‘blue silk embellished with golden embroidery’
    • ‘Some of the Turkish and Italian textiles are embellished with exquisite embroideries executed in metallic threads.’
    • ‘Using photos as a starting point, she embellished them with decorative elements like buttons and curled papers.’
    • ‘Here she embellished sheets of postage stamps with silk thread; the sewing records the situations in which they were sewn.’
    • ‘Every station is embellished and decorated: delicate stars and hammers and sickles somewhat incongruously scattered about as decorative motifs.’
    • ‘Add fresh flowers or small tree ornaments to embellish the wreath for a party.’
    • ‘This terrace is about half the size of the drawing room and the current owners have embellished it with an ornamental pond and fountain.’
    • ‘She shows a masterful attention to detail, embellishing a jade damask and sable stole with a quilted Asian-inspired pattern or adding delicate black feathers to the high neckline of a sleeveless black-to-lime chiffon gown.’
    • ‘In other trends, many denims were embellished with embroideries or with woven jacquard borders.’
    • ‘White walls are embellished with black grass wallpaper and surface details are defined in marble, natural stone and tiles.’
    • ‘The water bodies are embellished with ornamental fish, cascades, fountains and expensive plants that could be grown in submerged pots.’
    • ‘The students were encouraged to embellish the eyes or tail with additional items, but otherwise they were to use only one box to create their cows.’
    • ‘The sky draped as a backdrop for the crimson harvest sun like a painting in a majestic golden frame embellished by great brush strokes from a master's hand.’
    • ‘Napkins are embellished with simple embroidery: Each has a small Christmas tree stitched near one corner.’
    • ‘Glass decorated with narrative scenes and with devices appropriated from the classical past were some of the Western decorative motifs used to embellish glass objects.’
    • ‘These intricately made shoes are embellished with silver and silk.’
    • ‘She wore a strapless white gown with a large, ballroom skirt and embroidery embellished the bodice.’
    • ‘Enclosed are ideas for embellishing your fabric and waterproofing it to make a beautiful raincoat.’
    • ‘Both sides of the sterling silver functional end have a brushed finish, and the front is embellished with bright-cut engraving.’
    • ‘Ornate decorations and artistic gilt work embellish the statues, which are embedded with precious stones.’
    • ‘Its proponents freely adapted decorative elements of ecclesiastical buildings and interiors for use in domestic structures and to embellish all kinds of decorative arts objects.’
    decorate, adorn, ornament, dress, dress up, furnish
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    1. 1.1Make (a statement or story) more interesting or entertaining by adding extra details, especially ones that are not true.
      ‘she had real difficulty telling the truth because she liked to embellish things’
      • ‘It will be most obvious to you when, later, you try to retell it, matching my pace, embellishing the parts you thought were lackluster, trimming the places you thought were fatty.’
      • ‘No doubt the details of this anecdote were embellished.’
      • ‘What follows is a description of each lesson: I have not embellished or exaggerated anything, or imported any apocryphal incidents.’
      • ‘And if people don't get the point, then I will simply repeat my windows story, now embellished by light switches, until they do.’
      • ‘Over the centuries, after countless retellings, the story has been slightly embellished.’
      • ‘But such is the Australian love of the underdog, not to mention a good yarn, that tales of this antihero live on and have been embellished by the years.’
      • ‘Nothing so improves a dreary experience like the realization that it will yield a story we can embellish.’
      • ‘There, he tells Chloe and several other slaves his story, boastfully embellishing it and exaggerating his role in her successful escape.’
      • ‘In a survey 92 per cent of respondents admitted they had felt a need to embellish a story when in a social setting.’
      • ‘Francis will often use one little piece of a ‘real’ story as a seed, which he then embellishes and develops into his own made-up story.’
      • ‘A good journalist knows where to draw the line, to gather the facts of the story they are working on and not to embellish it with irrelevant details.’
      • ‘Notice, too, that like good storytellers these advocates embellish the tale with some interesting exaggerations.’
      • ‘He was a gifted conversationalist and had many fine stories and yarns which he could embellish with style.’
      • ‘This story stretches the credibility and has surely been hugely embellished in the telling… hasn't it?’
      • ‘And in any case, there will be plenty of memories gained and stories to embellish after another extravaganza of Celtic solidarity.’
      • ‘When people tell stories, as time goes by, the stories and memories get embellished sometimes.’
      • ‘The stress deepened her dependence on alcohol, and her amateurish efforts to market her story led her to embellish the details of her espionage.’
      • ‘It is no wonder then that such an off-beat and romantic story was immediately taken up and embellished by the media.’
      • ‘In Taylor House, where all sides concede that appellants will exaggerate, embellish and tell outright lies, his story is pretty tame.’
      • ‘My hope is that by making this public here, he will perhaps be dissuaded from continuing to embellish this story with false statements.’
      elaborate, embroider, colour, expand on, exaggerate, dress up, touch up, gild, catastrophize
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Late Middle English: from Old French embelliss-, lengthened stem of embellir, based on bel handsome from Latin bellus.