Definition of ornament in English:


Line breaks: or¦na|ment


Pronunciation: /ˈɔːnəm(ə)nt
  • 1A thing used or serving to make something look more attractive but usually having no practical purpose, especially a small object such as a figurine: tables covered with ornaments and books
    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.
    knick-knack, trinket, bauble, piece of bric-a-brac, bibelot, gewgaw, gimcrack, furbelow, objet, accessory
    informal whatnot, dingle-dangle
    British informal doobry, doodah
    North American informal tchotchke, tsatske
    dated folderol
    archaic whim-wham, kickshaw, bijou
  • 1.1 [mass noun] Decoration added to embellish something: Gothic buildings notable for their finely detailed ornament
    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.
  • 1.2A quality or person adding grace, beauty, or honour to something: sense of humour is an ornament to character
    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.
  • 1.3 (ornaments) Music Embellishments made to a melody: the composer marked the vocal part with many aspirations, accents, and other ornaments
    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.
  • 2 (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: /ˈɔːnəmɛnt
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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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