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- (transitive) To ornament something in showy, tasteless, or gaudy finery.
- Synonym: embellish
- 1735, Alexander Pope, “A LETTER of ADVICE to a Young LADY, who had married above herself, grew vain, and despis’d her Husband” in Mr. Pope’s Literary Correspondence, London: E. Curll, Volume 2, pp. 69-70,
- Self is a great Fop and a great Slattern: Soul has given her very good Cloaths, fine Ornaments, plain and neat, but Self either leaves them, like a Slut, in every Corner of the House; or when she puts them on, she does bedizen them with Lace and Embroidery, Fringes and Ruffles, Patches, and Powder, that you can hardly see enough of the Garment to distinguish the excellent Stuff which it is made of […]
- 1848, William Makepeace Thackeray, The Book of Snobs, London: Punch, Chapter 19, p. 71,
- Suppose you get in cheap made dishes from the pastrycook’s, and hire a couple of green-grocers, or carpet-beaters, to figure as footmen, dismissing honest MOLLY, who waits on common days, and bedizening your table (ordinarily ornamented with willow-pattern crockery) with twopenny-halfpenny Birmingham plate.
- 1918, H. L. Mencken, Damn! A Book of Calumny, page 78:
- Thus a Frenchman, viewing the undraped statues which bedizen his native galleries of art, either enjoys them in a purely aesthetic fashion—which is seldom possible save when he is in liquor—or confesses frankly that he doesn't like them at all; whereas the visiting Americano is so powerfully shocked and fascinated by them that one finds him, the same evening, in places where no respectable man ought to go.
- 1943, Marjorie Faith Barnard, “Arrow of Mistletoe” in The Persimmon Tree and Other Stories, Sydney: Clarendon, p. 12,
- She wore only the subtlest touch of make up and round her delicate throat only a single string of pearls. Among the hundred bedizened women she was a rarity.
- 1969, Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, New York: Bantam, 1971, Chapter 31, p. 209,
- Dolores flitted around the car, screaming like a banshee, her face bedizened with fury.
- (transitive, Britain dialectal, Northern England) To dirty; cover with dirt.