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(often initial capital letter) of pertaining to, or characteristic of the English gothic architecture of the late 13th through the late 14th centuries, characterized by curvilinear tracery, elaborate ornamental sculpture and vaulting, and refinement of stonecutting techniques.

Origin of decorated

First recorded in 1720-30; decorate + -ed2

Related forms

nondecorated, adjective

quasi-decorated, adjective

superdecorated, adjective

undecorated, adjective

well-decorated, adjective

verb (used with object), decorated, decorating.
to furnish or adorn with something ornamental or becoming; embellish:

to decorate walls with murals.

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.

to confer distinction upon by a badge, a medal of honor, etc.:

to decorate a soldier for valor.


1375-1425; late Middle English (adj.) < Latin decorātus (past participle of decorāre), equivalent to decor- (stem of decus) an ornament, splendor, honor (see decent) + -ātus -ate1

Related forms Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for decorated

Contemporary Examples

  • Its spine, too, “‘hubbed’ as the most prized European classics are,” is decorated with delicate gold squiggles and a star.

    Rand Paul’s Many Leather-Bound Books Olivia Nuzzi November 26, 2014

  • VATICAN CITY—In the 500 or so years since the Sistine Chapel was decorated, it has never looked so good.

    The Sistine Chapel Gets Mood Lighting Barbie Latza Nadeau November 1, 2014

  • The calavera, or decorated skull, is an archetype of Mexican popular culture.

    New Orleans’ Carnivalesque Day of the Dead Jason Berry October 31, 2014

  • I decorated with marigolds, which are considered the flower of the dead.

    New Orleans’ Carnivalesque Day of the Dead Jason Berry October 31, 2014

  • The legendary Captain Paddy Brown was by some accounts the most decorated firefighter in the nation.

    The Resilient City: New York After 9/11 John Avlon September 10, 2014

Historical Examples

  • The nave of the church is decorated, and has beautiful windows of that period.

    Yorkshire Painted And Described Gordon Home

  • The dining-hall was decorated for the occasion with appropriate portraits.

    Punchinello, Vol. 1, No. 6, May 7, 1870 Various

  • There are few breasts in those ranks that are not decorated with medals.

    Camps, Quarters and Casual Places Archibald Forbes

  • It was a white lamb, decorated from ears to tail with knots of ribbon and with flowers.

    Hetty's Strange History Anonymous

  • It was Christmas-eve, and I had decorated the ambulance with festoons of green leaves.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt

British Dictionary definitions for decorated



(transitive) to make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc


to paint or wallpaper (a room, house, etc)


(transitive) to confer a mark of distinction, esp a military medal, upon


(transitive) to evaporate a metal film onto (a crystal) in order to display dislocations in structure

Word Origin

C16: from Latin decorāre, from decus adornment; see decent

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for decorated



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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