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From Middle English embroudren, frequentative of embrouden, from Anglo-Norman embrouder, intensive of brosder, brouder (compare Guernésiais broudaïr), from Old Dutch *brosdōn, blend of *bursta (bristle) and *brordōn (to stitch) (compare Old High German brortōn). More at bristle and brad.


embroider (third-person singular simple present embroiders, present participle embroidering, simple past and past participle embroidered)

  1. To stitch a decorative design on fabric with needle and thread of various colours.
  2. (figuratively) To add imaginary detail to a narrative to make it more interesting or acceptable.

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