General English


  • verb to put coloured icing on a cake


  • verb to award a medal to someone (usually for bravery or outstanding achievement)

Real Estate

  • verb to apply paint, wallpaper and other accessories to a room or house


  • verb to paint a room or a building or to put new wallpaper in a room

Origin & History of “decorate”

Decorate comes from Latin decorātus, the past participle of decorāre ‘make beautiful’, a verb derived from decus ‘ornament’. Its root, decor-, also produced the adjective decorus ‘beautiful, seemly’, from which English gets decorous (17th c.) and, via its neuter singular form, decorum (16th c.). Décor is a 19th-century borrowing from French, where it was a derivative of the verb décorer. From the same ultimate source come decent and dignity.