Word of the Day

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

festoon

\fe-STOON\ , verb;
1.
To adorn with hanging chains or strands of any material.
2.
Dentistry. To reproduce natural gum patterns around the teeth or a denture.
noun:
1.
A string or chain of flowers, foliage, ribbon, etc., suspended in a curve between two points.
2.
A decorative representation of this, as in architectural work or on pottery.
3.
A fabric suspended, draped, and bound at intervals to form graceful loops or scalloped folds.
4.
Dentistry. The garlandlike area of the gums surrounding the necks of the teeth.
Quotes:
Its medium green leaves are perfect backdrops for the large orb-shaped white flowers blushed with pink that festoon the tree in May and June.
-- Leslie Cox, "Leaf beetles don't give snowball a chance in ...", Comox Valley Record
For nearly half a mile along both sides of a secondary road near Prattville, Alabama, you can see thousands of signs, crosses, wrecked cars, and mailboxes festooned with barbed wire.
-- Mark Sceurman, Mark Moran, Matt Lake, "Rice's Miracle Cross Garden", Weird U.S. The ODDyssey Continues: Your Travel Guide to America's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
Origin:
A festoon is "a string or chain of flowers, foliage, ribbon, etc., suspended in a curve between two points." Modern usage has expanded the definition of the verb form to mean "to fill or cover", but dictionaries tend to maintain the narrower scope. Festoon derives from the Italian feston, "decoration for a feast."
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