\ \ [14] To embellish something is literally to ‘make it beautiful’. It comes from Old French embellir, a compound verb formed from the prefix en-, which denotes ‘causing’ or ‘making’, and belbeautiful’. This Old French adjective (source of modern French beau) came from Latin bellusbeautiful’, and its other English offspring include beau, belle, and beauty.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Embellish — Em*bel lish, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Embellished}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Embellishing}.] [OE. embelisen, embelisshen, F. embellir; pref. em (L. in) + bel, beau, beautiful. See {Beauty}.] To make beautiful or elegant by ornaments; to decorate; to adorn;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • embellish — I verb add details, adorn, array, beautify, bedeck, bedizen, bejewel, beribbon, bespangle, better, blazon, chase, dandify, deck, decorare, decorate, dizen, dress up, elaborate, emblazon, emboss, embroider, encrust, enhance, enrich, exornare, fix… …   Law dictionary

  • embellish — mid 14c., to render beautiful, from O.Fr. embelliss , stem of embellir make beautiful, ornament, from em (see EN (Cf. en ) (1)) + bel beautiful, from L. bellus (see BENE (Cf. bene )). Meaning dress up (a narration) with fictitious matter is from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • embellish — beautify, deck, bedeck, garnish, *adorn, decorate, ornament Analogous words: enhance, heighten, intensify: apparel, array (see CLOTHE) Contrasted words: denude, *strip, bare, divest …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • embellish — [v] make beautiful; decorate add bells and whistles*, adorn, amplify, array, beautify, bedeck, color, deck, dress up*, elaborate, emblaze, embroider, enhance, enrich, exaggerate, festoon, fix up*, fudge*, garnish, gild, give details, grace, gussy …   New thesaurus

  • embellish — ► VERB 1) make more attractive; decorate. 2) add extra details to (a story or account) for interest. DERIVATIVES embellisher noun embellishment noun. ORIGIN Old French embellir, from bel handsome …   English terms dictionary

  • embellish — [em bel′ish, imbel′ish] vt. [ME embelishen < extended stem of OFr embellir < em (L in) + bel < L bellus, beautiful] 1. to decorate or improve by adding detail; ornament; adorn 2. to add grace notes, syncopated accents, trills, etc. to (a …   English World dictionary

  • embellish — [[t]ɪmbe̱lɪʃ[/t]] embellishes, embellishing, embellished 1) VERB If something is embellished with decorative features or patterns, it has those features or patterns on it and they make it look more attractive. [be V ed with n] The stern was… …   English dictionary

  • embellish — UK [ɪmˈbelɪʃ] / US verb [intransitive/transitive] Word forms embellish : present tense I/you/we/they embellish he/she/it embellishes present participle embellishing past tense embellished past participle embellished 1) to make a story more… …   English dictionary

  • embellish — verb /ɪmˈbɛlɪʃ/ a) To make more beautiful and attractive; to decorate. The old book cover was embellished with golden letters b) To make something sound or look better or more acceptable than it is in reality, to dist …   Wiktionary

  • embellish — verb Embellish is used with these nouns as the object: ↑story …   Collocations dictionary

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