- To embellish is defined as to make something fancier by decorating it, or to exaggerate or add details to a story to make it more exciting or interesting.
- An example of embellish is when you add fringe to a skirt to make the skirt fancier.
- An example of embellish is when you exaggerate about the size of the fish you caught to make your fishing story more interesting.
A cake embellished with flowers.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- to decorate or improve by adding detail; ornament; adorn
- to add grace notes, syncopated accents, trills, etc. to (a melody)
- to improve (an account or report) by adding details, often of a fictitious or imaginary kind; touch up
Origin: Middle English embelishen ; from extended stem of Old French embellir ; from em- (L in) plush bel ; from Classical Latin bellus, beautiful
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
transitive verb em·bel·lished, em·bel·lish·ing, em·bel·lish·es
- To make beautiful, as by ornamentation; decorate.
- To add ornamental or fictitious details to: a fanciful account that embellishes the true story.
Origin: Middle English embelishen, from Old French embellir, embelliss- : en-, causative pref.; see en-1 + bel, beautiful (from Latin bellus; see deu-2 in Indo-European roots).
- em·belˈlish·er noun