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See also: décorative



From Latin decorātus + -ive. Cognate with French décoratif.



decorative (comparative more decorative, superlative most decorative)

  1. That serves to decorate
    • 1962 October, Brian Haresnape, “Focus on B.R. passenger stations”, in Modern Railways, pages 250–251:
      Elegant brick and stone buildings, with iron and glass canopies and decorative wooden scalloping and fencing—all evidencing care on the part of the architect to produce a pleasing, well-planned building—were submerged beneath a profusion of ill-conceived additions and camouflaged by vulgar paint schemes; and the original conception was lost.
    • 2011 December 15, Felicity Cloake, “How to cook the perfect nut roast”, in Guardian[1]:
      The parsnip, stilton and chestnut combination may taste good, but it's not terribly decorative. In fact, dull's the word, a lingering adjectival ghost of nut roasts past that I'm keen to banish from the table.
    • 2014, Tim Carvell [et al.], “Dr. Oz and Nutritional Supplements”, in Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, season 1, episode 8, John Oliver (actor), Warner Bros. Television, via HBO:
      And I’ll be honest. I’ll be honest, seeing stories like that is enough to make me glad that the Queen of England is mostly decorative now. In fact, the most relevant thing she’s done recently was announced that this week, she’s going to visit the Game of Thrones set.

Derived terms[edit]



decorative (plural decoratives)

  1. A plant, tile, etc. intended for use as decoration.
    • 2007 October 24, The Associated Press, “Dutch Maker of Chemicals Reports Drop in Earnings”, in New York Times[2]:
      Analysts said the company’s results were in line, but noted that organic growth at the decoratives business was slightly weaker than expected.



  • IPA(key): /de.ko.raˈ
  • Rhymes: -ive
  • Hyphenation: de‧co‧ra‧tì‧ve



  1. feminine plural of decorativo