to decorate or add beauty to, as by ornaments:
garlands of flowers adorning their hair.
to make more pleasing, attractive, impressive, etc.; enhance:
Piety adorned Abigail’s character.
Contemporary Examples

His imagery does more than adorn; it also helps swiftly clinch a character for the reader.
True Grit: Ross Macdonald Gets His Due Malcolm Forbes August 6, 2012

The chances that portraits of Daud and Saleh al-Kuwaiti will ever adorn a 200-shekel bill seem slim.
For My Money, I’ll Take the Al-Kuwaitis Gershom Gorenberg May 5, 2013

Historical Examples

At last they were permitted to be beautiful once more, to smile, and to adorn themselves.
The Usurper Judith Gautier

In his present mood he was inclined to adorn himself with as many of them as possible.
A Spirit in Prison Robert Hichens

The nine fine engravings which adorn the Voyage to Terra Australis are his work.
The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders Ernest Scott

Because,” said they, “of the noble qualities that adorn your mind.
Boys and Girls Bookshelf (Vol 2 of 17) Various

He was now collecting masterpieces of the Spanish school of painting, which were destined to adorn the saloons of the Tuileries.
The Bible in Spain George Borrow

I have not one of the graceful accomplishments that adorn society.
Davenport Dunn, Volume 1 (of 2) Charles James Lever

In fact, Mr. Welby was one of those brilliant persons who adorn any society amidst which they are thrown.
Kenelm Chillingly, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton

The lamps are put in long rows or in circles, to fit the places they adorn.
The Soul of a People H. Fielding

verb (transitive)
to decorate: she adorned her hair with flowers
to increase the beauty, distinction, etc, of

late 14c., “to decorate, embellish,” also “be an ornament to,” from Old French aorner “to order, arrange, dispose, equip; adorn,” from Latin adornare “equip, provide, embellish,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + ornare “prepare, furnish, adorn, fit out,” from stem of ordo “order” (see order (n.)). The -d- was reinserted by French scribes 14c., in English from late 15c. Related: Adorned; adorning.


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