1. Something that decorates or adorns; an embellishment.
2. A person considered as a source of pride, honor, or credit: a singer who is an ornament to the world of opera.
3. Music A note or group of notes that embellishes a melody.
tr.v. (-mĕnt′) or·na·ment·ed, or·na·ment·ing, or·na·ments
1. To furnish with ornaments: ornamented the windows with hanging plants.
2. To be an ornament to: "The babies ornament her ankles, dangle from her pant legs" (Carolyn Chute).
[Middle English ournement, from Old French ornement, from Latin ōrnāmentum, from ōrnāre, to adorn; see ar- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.