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[uh-dawrn] /əˈdɔrn/
verb (used with object)
to decorate or add beauty to, as by ornaments:
garlands of flowers adorning their hair.
to make more pleasing, attractive, impressive, etc.; enhance:
Piety adorned Abigail's character.
1325-75; Middle English adornen < Latin adōrnāre, equivalent to ad- ad- + ōrnāre to dress (see ornate); replacing late Middle English aourne < Middle French < Latin
Related forms
adorner, noun
adorningly, adverb
nonadorner, noun
nonadorning, adjective
overadorn, verb (used with object)
overadorned, adjective
preadorn, verb (used with object)
readorn, verb (used with object)
readorning, adjective
self-adorning, adjective
superadorn, verb (used with object)
unadorned, adjective
well-adorned, adjective
1. beautify; deck, bedeck; bedizen, array. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for adorning
  • Species are distinguishable by the formidable crown of horns adorning their head and the numerous spines across their back.
  • Her bikini was matching the ocean below and a tattoo in an unknown language was adorning her slender back.
  • You've probably seen that adorning the tables at a fancy restaurant, where it resists stains and is easily washable.
  • Lovers of burger kitsch will be glad to see the traditional tomato-shaped ketchup bottles adorning every table.
  • Art adorning the walls was either painted by him or comes from his private collection.
  • The interior design includes hardwood floors, exposed brick walls and oversized framed mirrors adorning the walls.
  • adorning the pilasters are pendants of gold magnolia leaves and silver branches.
  • However, there are many notable treasures in the church such as the twenty-seven handsome memorial windows adorning the building.
  • Sonya does all her own hand-made pottery which have fairies, angels, frogs and leaves adorning them.
  • In addition, adorning the silica pores with small chemical groups helps trap proteins inside.
British Dictionary definitions for adorning


verb (transitive)
to decorate: she adorned her hair with flowers
to increase the beauty, distinction, etc, of
Derived Forms
adornment, noun
Word Origin
C14: via Old French from Latin adōrnāre, from ōrnāre to furnish, prepare
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for adorning



late 14c., "to decorate, embellish," also "be an ornament to," from Old French aorner "to order, arrange, dispose, equip; adorn," from Latin adornare "equip, provide, embellish," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + ornare "prepare, furnish, adorn, fit out," from stem of ordo "order" (see order (n.)). The -d- was reinserted by French scribes 14c., in English from late 15c. Related: Adorned; adorning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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