Adorn A*dorn", v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Adorned}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Adorning}.] [OE. aournen, anournen, adornen, OF. aorner, fr. L. aaornare; ad + ornare to furnish, embellish. See {Adore}, {Ornate}.] To deck or dress with ornaments; to embellish; to set off to advantage; to render pleasing or attractive. [1913 Webster]

As a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. --Isa. lxi. 10. [1913 Webster]

At church, with meek and unaffected grace, His looks adorned the venerable place. --Goldsmith. [1913 Webster]

Syn: To deck; decorate; embellish; ornament; beautify; grace; dignify; exalt; honor.

Usage: To {Adorn}, {Ornament}, {Decorate}, {Embellish}. We decorate and ornament by putting on some adjunct which is attractive or beautiful, and which serves to heighten the general effect. Thus, a lady's head-dress may be ornament or decorated with flowers or jewelry; a hall may be decorated or ornament with carving or gilding, with wreaths of flowers, or with hangings. Ornament is used in a wider sense than decorate. To embellish is to beautify or ornament richly, not so much by mere additions or details as by modifying the thing itself as a whole. It sometimes means gaudy and artificial decoration. We embellish a book with rich engravings; a style is embellished with rich and beautiful imagery; a shopkeeper embellishes his front window to attract attention. Adorn is sometimes identical with decorate, as when we say, a lady was adorned with jewels. In other cases, it seems to imply something more. Thus, we speak of a gallery of paintings as adorned with the works of some of the great masters, or adorned with noble statuary and columns. Here decorated and ornamented would hardly be appropriate. There is a value in these works of genius beyond mere show and ornament. Adorn may be used of what is purely moral; as, a character adorned with every Christian grace. Here neither decorate, nor ornament, nor embellish is proper. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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