Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[em-bel-ish] /ɛmˈbɛl ɪʃ/
verb (used with object)
to beautify by or as if by ornamentation; ornament; adorn.
to enhance (a statement or narrative) with fictitious additions.
Origin of embellish
1300-50; Middle English embelisshen < Anglo-French, Middle French embeliss- (stem of embelir), equivalent to em- em-1 + bel- (< Latin bellus pretty) + -iss- -ish2
Related forms
embellisher, noun
nonembellished, adjective
nonembellishing, adjective
overembellish, verb (used with object)
reembellish, verb (used with object)
unembellished, adjective
1. decorate, garnish, bedeck, embroider. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for embellish
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for embellish


verb (transitive)
to improve or beautify by adding detail or ornament; adorn
to make (a story) more interesting by adding detail
to provide (a melody, part, etc) with ornaments See ornament (sense 5)
Derived Forms
embellisher, noun
embellishment, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French embelir, from bel beautiful, from Latin bellus
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for embellish

mid-14c., "to render beautiful," from Old French embelliss-, stem of embellir "make beautiful, ornament," from em- (see en- (1)) + bel "beautiful," from Latin bellus (see bene-). Meaning "dress up (a narration) with fictitious matter" is from mid-15c. Related: Embellished; embellishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for embellish

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for embellish

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for embellish