Definition of decorate in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈdɛkəreɪt/


[with object]
1Make (something) look more attractive by adding extra items or images to it: the town was decorated with Christmas lights
More example sentences
  • It was made out of exquisite gold, sculptures and ornaments decorating it.
  • Matched pairs of smaller tables and ornaments decorate each side, the objects on the left referring to the New Testament, and, to the right, the Old Testament.
  • Another attractive alternative is to decorate short lengths of board with old tiles.
ornament, adorn, trim, embellish, garnish, furnish, accessorize, enhance, grace, enrich;
festoon, garland, trick out, bedeck, beautify, prettify
literary furbelow
1.1chiefly British Apply paint or wallpaper in (a room or building): the five bedrooms are individually decorated
More example sentences
  • The hotel room was decorated with pale yellow wallpaper and white painted wooden decoration.
  • Kimmi dragged her stuff into a room that what was decorated with floral wallpaper.
  • The middle room is decorated with flowered wallpaper and has a high ceiling.
paint, wallpaper, paper, furbish, smarten up;
renovate, refurbish, redecorate, retouch
informal do up, spruce up, do out, do over, fix up, tart up, give something a facelift, titivate
2Confer an award or medal on (a member of the armed forces): he was decorated for outstanding bravery
More example sentences
  • He was decorated with many medals, and he had all his weapons with him as well.
  • After the war Popov was decorated and awarded British citizenship.
  • He is a fine athlete and a Vietnam combat veteran who was decorated for bravery.
give a medal to, pin a medal on, honour, confer an award on;
cite, mention in dispatches, reward


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'to grace or honour'): from Latin decoratus 'embellished' (past participle of decorare), from decus, decor- 'beauty, honour, or embellishment'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: dec¦or|ate

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