The DICT Development Group
1 definition found
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Adorn \A*dorn"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Adorned; p. pr. & vb. n.
Adorning.] [OE. aournen, anournen, adornen, OF. aorner, fr.
L. aaornare; ad + ornare to furnish, embellish. See Adore,
To deck or dress with ornaments; to embellish; to set off to
advantage; to render pleasing or attractive.
As a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. --Isa.
At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorned the venerable place. --Goldsmith.
Syn: To deck; decorate; embellish; ornament; beautify; grace;
dignify; exalt; honor.
Usage: To Adorn, Ornament, Decorate, Embellish. We
decorate and ornament by putting on some adjunct which
is attractive or beautiful, and which serves to
heighten the general effect. Thus, a lady's head-dress
may be ornament or decorated with flowers or jewelry;
a hall may be decorated or ornament with carving or
gilding, with wreaths of flowers, or with hangings.
Ornament is used in a wider sense than decorate. To
embellish is to beautify or ornament richly, not so
much by mere additions or details as by modifying the
thing itself as a whole. It sometimes means gaudy and
artificial decoration. We embellish a book with rich
engravings; a style is embellished with rich and
beautiful imagery; a shopkeeper embellishes his front
window to attract attention. Adorn is sometimes
identical with decorate, as when we say, a lady was
adorned with jewels. In other cases, it seems to imply
something more. Thus, we speak of a gallery of
paintings as adorned with the works of some of the
great masters, or adorned with noble statuary and
columns. Here decorated and ornamented would hardly be
appropriate. There is a value in these works of genius
beyond mere show and ornament. Adorn may be used of
what is purely moral; as, a character adorned with
every Christian grace. Here neither decorate, nor
ornament, nor embellish is proper.
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