• (British) IPA: /ˈɔː(ɹ)nəmənt/
    • (America) IPA: /ˈɔɹnəmənt/, enPR: ôrʹnə-mənt
    • (British) IPA: /ˈɔː(ɹ)nəmənt/, /ˈɔː(ɹ)nəˌmɛnt/
    • (America) IPA: /ˈɔɹnəmənt/, /ˈɔɹnəˌmɛnt/, enPR ôrʹnə-mənt


  1. An element of decoration; that which embellishes or adorns.
    • 1864, Alfred Tennyson, “Aylmer’s Field”, in Enoch Arden, &c., London: Edward Moxon & Co., […], OCLC 879237670 ↗, page 51 ↗:
      Dust are our frames; and, gilded dust, our pride / Looks only for a moment whole and sound; / Like that long-buried body of the king / Found lying with his urns and ornaments, / Which at a touch of light, an air of heaven, / Slipt into ashes and was found no more.
  2. A Christmas tree decoration.
  3. (music) A musical flourish that is unnecessary to the overall melodic or harmonic line, but serves to decorate or "ornament" that line.
  4. (Christianity, in the plural) The articles used in church services.
  5. (biology) A characteristic that has a decorative function (typically in order to attract a mate)
Related terms Translations Translations
  • Russian: украше́ние
  • French: ornement musical
  • German: musikalische Verzierung
  • Italian: ornamenti
  • Portuguese: ornamento
  • Russian: музыка́льный орна́мент
  • Spanish: ornamento musical

ornament (ornaments, present participle ornamenting; past and past participle ornamented)

  1. To decorate.
    We will ornament the windows with trim to make the room seem brighter.
  2. To add to.
    The editor ornamented his plain writing, making it fancier but less clear.