Definition of ornament in English:


Syllabification: or·na·ment


Pronunciation: /ˈôrnəmənt
  • 1A thing used to make something look more attractive but usually having no practical purpose, especially a small object such as a figurine.
    More example sentences
    • The last bed had stuffed animals on it and the desk was covered with little ornaments.
    • There was a lovely black fireplace and a tall bookshelf filled with books and small ornaments.
    • A fireplace was against one of the walls, its mantle also covered in little brass ornaments.
  • 1.1A quality or person adding grace, beauty, or honor to something: the design would be a great ornament to the metropolis
    More example sentences
    • Love or hate him, he has been an ornament to the game as a bowler and has added considerable flavour too.
    • As a person, no less than as a thinker, Ramsey was an ornament to Cambridge.
    • A woman and one who ought to have been in as much as the means were assuredly in the power of her family-an ornament to her sex and station.
  • 1.2Decoration added to embellish something, especially a building: it served more for ornament than for protection
    More example sentences
    • An integral part of the decorative scheme of the dishes was the now erased heraldic ornament.
    • The relationship between Gothic ornament and literature can be quite striking.
    • Banished under Modernism, it has something to do with decoration and ornament.
  • 1.3 (ornaments) Music Embellishments and decorations, such as trills or grace notes, added to a melody.
    More example sentences
    • Extracting the ornaments from the musical texture will greatly assist students in the polishing process.
    • Hasse begins with a simple melody which is varied and embellished with intricate ornaments that make it memorable.
    • Purcell's first seven pieces introduce various fingering combinations, simple ornaments and key signatures.
  • 1.4 (usually ornaments) Christian Church The accessories of worship, such as the altar, chalice, and sacred vessels.
    More example sentences
    • Kino also used the rich vestments and ornaments of religious ceremonies to attract the native peoples.
    • Many parish churches were extravagantly rebuilt, and lavished with vessels and ornaments which foreign visitors thought worthy of a cathedral.
    • In addition to painting and sculpture, the collections include displays of silver, ecclesiastical ornaments and vestments, furniture, and altars.


Pronunciation: /ˈôrnəˌment
[with object] Back to top  
  • Make (something) look more attractive by adding decorative items: the men and women in the Stone Age ornamented their caves
    More example sentences
    • Many other gowns were ornamented with a lot of beads without giving an Art Deco impression.
    • He wished them to come to his gardens and study the beautiful Greek statues which ornamented them.
    • She herself chose a smart business suit while ornamenting my father in a silly sweater and beige khakis.


Middle English (also in the sense 'accessory'): from Old French ournement, from Latin ornamentum 'equipment, ornament', from ornare 'adorn'. The verb dates from the early 18th century.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkələrəˈto͝orə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody