9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[em-broi-der] /ɛmˈbrɔɪ dər/
verb (used with object)
to decorate with ornamental needlework.
to produce or form in needlework.
to adorn or embellish rhetorically, especially with ornate language or fictitious details:
He embroidered the account of the shipwreck to hold his listeners' interest.
verb (used without object)
to do embroidery.
to add embellishments; exaggerate (often followed by on or upon).
Origin of embroider
1350-1400; em-1 + broider; replacing Middle English embroderen, frequentative of embroden < Middle French embro(u)der, equivalent to em- em-1 + Old French brosder, derivative of brosd < Germanic (see brad)
Related forms
embroiderer, noun
overembroider, verb (used with object)
unembroidered, adjective
3. elaborate, exaggerate, color, fancify. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for embroidered
  • Students wear jackets, embroidered with their names and chapter locations, as part of their official uniform.
  • So such details, emerging in off-the-record briefings, may well be embroidered.
  • Then the bird threw a gold and silver dress down to her, and slippers embroidered with silk and silver.
  • The shirt is usually white, intricately embroidered and plaited and made of cotton or linen.
  • The screeners are distinguished by their white shirts and yellow embroidered badges.
  • The pot leaf is embroidered on polos, printed on ties and displayed on the shopping bags.
  • Ministers, senior civil servants, imams and notables in embroidered robes rubbed elbows with uniformed military officers.
  • The designers get extra credit for the intestines embroidered on the lining.
  • Powdery potpourri colors, rosebuds and embroidered bags made a playful and pretty show.
  • The cruise jacket always had the ship's name embroidered in gold on the back.
British Dictionary definitions for embroidered


to do decorative needlework (upon)
to add fictitious or fanciful detail to (a story)
to add exaggerated or improbable details to (an account of an event, etc)
Derived Forms
embroiderer, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Old French embroder; see em-en-1, broider
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 embroidered



late 14c., from Anglo-French enbrouder, from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + broisder "embroider," from Frankish *brozdon, from Proto-Germanic *bruzdajanan. Spelling with -oi- is from c.1600, perhaps by influence of broiden, irregular alternative Middle English past participle of braid (v.). Related: Embroidered; embroidering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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embroidered in the Bible

The art of embroidery was known to the Jews (Ex. 26:36; 35:35; 38:23; Judg. 5:30; Ps. 45:14). The skill of the women in this art was seen in the preparation of the sacerdotal robes of the high priest (Ex. 28). It seems that the art became hereditary in certain families (1 Chr. 4:21). The Assyrians were also noted for their embroidered robes (Ezek. 27:24).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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