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[fe-stoon] /fɛˈstun/
a string or chain of flowers, foliage, ribbon, etc., suspended in a curve between two points.
a decorative representation of this, as in architectural work or on pottery.
a fabric suspended, draped, and bound at intervals to form graceful loops or scalloped folds.
Dentistry. the garlandlike area of the gums surrounding the necks of the teeth.
verb (used with object)
to adorn with or as with festoons:
to festoon a hall.
to form into festoons:
to festoon flowers and leaves.
Dentistry. to reproduce natural gum patterns around the teeth or a denture.
to connect by festoons.
1670-80; < French feston < Italian festone decoration for a feast, derivative of festa festa
Related forms
unfestooned, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for festoons
  • festoons, if present, may not be visible on fully engorged females.
  • The name of the courthouse is carved into the frieze and flanked by festoons.
  • Floriate reliefs, resembling vertical festoons, trim the outer edges of the pilasters.
  • Its frieze, bedecked with bowed festoons, is a particularly handsome one.
  • The house and the lecture room of the church were decorated with festoons of hearts.
  • The parlors were hung with festoons of holiday greens and decorated with palms and cut flowers.
  • Flowers of varied hue and variety were abundant throughout the mansion, and festoons of smilax circled the rooms and halls.
  • The float was decorated with white flow ers and asparagus, with smilax festoons.
  • It carried an exquisite arrangement of embroidered chiffon and festoons of pearls.
  • Others carried canes wrapped around and around with ribbons and with festoons of color flutter ing from the handles.
British Dictionary definitions for festoons


a decorative chain of flowers, ribbons, etc, suspended in loops; garland
a carved or painted representation of this, as in architecture, furniture, or pottery
  1. the scalloped appearance of the gums where they meet the teeth
  2. a design carved on the base material of a denture to simulate this
  1. either of two Zerynthia species of white pierid butterfly of southern Europe, typically mottled red, yellow, and brown
  2. an ochreous brown moth, Apoda avellana the unusual sluglike larvae of which feed on oak leaves
verb (transitive)
to decorate or join together with festoons
to form into festoons
Word Origin
C17: from French feston, from Italian festone ornament for a feast, from festafeast
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for festoons



1620s, from French feston (16c.), from Italian festone, literally "a festive ornament," apparently from festa "celebration, feast," from Vulgar Latin *festa (see feast (n.)). The verb is attested from 1789. Related: Festooned.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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festoons in Medicine

festoon fes·toon (fě-stōōn')
A carving in the base material of a denture that simulates the contours of the natural tissue being replaced by the denture.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for festoons


in architecture and decoration, carved ornamental motif consisting of stylized flowers, fruit, foliage, and cloth, tied together with ribbons that sag in the middle and are attached at both ends. The distinction is sometimes made between a swag and a festoon by limiting the former to festoons entirely made up of folds of cloth.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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