verb (used with object), dec·o·rat·ed, dec·o·rat·ing.

  1. to furnish or adorn with something ornamental or becoming; embellish: to decorate walls with murals.
  2. to plan and execute the design, furnishings, and ornamentation of the interior of (a house, office, apartment, etc.), especially by selecting colors, fabrics, and style of furniture, by making minor structural changes, etc.: Their house is decorated in French Provincial style.
  3. to confer distinction upon by a badge, a medal of honor, etc.: to decorate a soldier for valor.


  1. (tr) to make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc
  2. to paint or wallpaper (a room, house, etc)
  3. (tr) to confer a mark of distinction, esp a military medal, upon
  4. (tr) to evaporate a metal film onto (a crystal) in order to display dislocations in structure

early 15c., from Latin decoratus, past participle of decorare “to decorate, adorn, embellish, beautify,” from decus (genitive decoris) “an ornament,” from PIE root *dek- “to receive, be suitable” (see decent). Related: Decorated; decorating.

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