Definition of embroider in US English:



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

    no object ‘she was teaching one of the girls how to embroider’
    ‘she had already embroidered a dozen little nighties for the babies’
    • ‘Elaborately embroidered velvets and silks apart from classic saris and brocades with some material dating back to late 18th Century are showcased.’
    • ‘Clasped behind the helmet on the neckband was delicately embroidered silk, decorated with jewels and parrots stitched between painted purple flowers.’
    • ‘It also can cause embroidered fabric to appear puckered or stretched.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘As a little girl I used to watch my aunt embroider pillow-covers, handkerchiefs, dupattas, baby-dresses, you name it.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, Sewing Mistress made me embroider them, so they look funny, for who ever saw sturdy slippers with bluebirds and flowers on them?’
    • ‘The scarecrows are variously made of papier mache, embroidered fabric, straw and plastic bags stuffed with newspaper.’
    • ‘She had great dedication to the church and some years ago embroidered the altar cloths for Saleen Church.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Cloths are normally embroidered individually rather than by pairs or groups of women.’
    • ‘I looked down at my pink pajama pants, which were embroidered with a pattern of brown bunnies.’
    • ‘She brings out a suitcase full of intricately embroidered cloths that she is preparing for her daughter's dowry.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Featuring a variety of household goods at affordable prices, the high end range includes complex patchwork and embroidered linen.’
    • ‘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 sleeves, neckline, and hem had been embroidered with gold thread.’
    decorate, adorn, ornament, embellish
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Produce (a design) on cloth with thread.
      ‘I embroidered flowers on my jeans’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She had embroidered flowers and lace in a beautiful pattern.’
      • ‘She had been sitting in the window, embroidering some impossibly fine design.’
      • ‘The next time you admire beautiful embroidery on a sari while on window-shopping spree, chances are that a machine embroidered those intricate patterns.’
      • ‘In later centuries, ladies would compete with each other to embroider beautiful designs on the balls, using silk threads.’
      • ‘Francis creates her work using fabric, scissors and a sewing machine to embroider collages into images.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you have access to an embroidery machine, add an additional embellishment by embroidering a motif over the decorative or straight smocking stitches.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On the top of the skirt, it had fawn mesh a little longer than the actual dress, but black flowers were embroidered on it.’
      • ‘After the pattern is embroidered on the net, the thread is removed one by one.’
      • ‘I began to embroider an intricate design of Sweden's mountains during sunrise.’
      • ‘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 said nothing, only went back to embroidering a design.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The whole green dress had delicate gold embroidered intricate flowers all over.’
      • ‘Each one wears a full-length cape of a different color, with an elaborate flower or bamboo design embroidered on it.’
      • ‘These two objects were regularly embroidered on bras, indicating that the owner would lead a long and happy life.’
  • 2Add fictitious or exaggerated details to (an account) to make it more interesting.

    ‘she embroidered her stories with colorful detail’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘After a certain amount of time they have very little new or interesting to add and there is a temptation to embroider.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many refuse, choosing instead to embroider on whatever rumors, exaggerations and pet theories are circulating in the occupied territories.’
    • ‘One such narrative, based on truth but embroidered with details highlighting the message, is the tale of Simpson and his donkey.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many of my stories were embroidered, exaggerated or wholly invented.’
    • ‘Lang biographers recall that the director often referred to this discussion in later life and liked to embroider some of the details.’
    • ‘Taylor-Taylor, in particular, delights in embroidering stories for his own and the media's entertainment.’
    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.