A decoration is anything used to make something more attractive or festive. If you’re having a Valentine’s Day party, drape your house in red and pink decorations. Decoration is also a type of honor, like a soldier's medal or stripe.

To decorate is to spiff something up, making it more colorful and attractive, like hanging streamers in a room or ornaments on a tree. Decorations are things used in this way. Many decorations are specific to holidays, like green decorations for St. Patrick's Day. Also, decorations are the honors given to people who have won or achieved something. A war hero's Purple Heart medal is a decoration. You can say that someone who has many of these honors is decorated.

Definitions of decoration
  1. noun
    the act of decorating something (in the hope of making it more attractive)
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    the action of decorating yourself with something colorful and interesting
    embellishment, ornamentation
    the act of adding extraneous decorations to something
    window dressing
    the decoration of shop windows
    the act of adding decoration
    the act of adorning with mosaic
    decorating with a design
    the practice of making a design on the skin by pricking and staining
    titivation, tittivation
    sprucing up; making decorative additions to
    the act of making a visible mark on a surface
    the act of marking or outlining with lines
    the act of coloring with areas of different shades
    the act of marking with stripes
    type of:
    change of state
    the act of changing something into something different in essential characteristics
  2. noun
    something used to beautify
    synonyms: ornament, ornamentation
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    a decoration of color or interest that is added to relieve plainness
    an ornament that interlaces simulated foliage in an intricate design
    architectural ornament
    (architecture) something added to a building to improve its appearance
    beading, beadwork
    ornamentation with beads
    a decorative interlacing of ribbons
    an ornament or utensil made of brass
    centerpiece, centrepiece
    something placed at the center of something else (as on a table)
    Christmas tree
    an ornamented evergreen used as a Christmas decoration
    an ornament (such as a knot of ribbon or a rosette) usually worn on the hat
    design, figure, pattern
    a decorative or artistic work
    a superfluous ornament
    an ornament at the top of a spire or gable; usually a foliated fleur-de-lis
    floral arrangement, flower arrangement
    a decorative arrangement of flowers
    falderol, folderal, frill, gimcrack, gimcrackery, nonsense, trumpery
    ornamental objects of no great value
    an ornament consisting of a grotesquely carved figure of a person or animal
    any decoration added as a trimming or adornment
    graffiti, graffito
    a rude decoration inscribed on rocks or walls
    hanging, wall hanging
    decoration that is hung (as a tapestry) on a wall or over a window
    hood ornament
    an ornament on the front of the hood of a car emblematic of the manufacturer
    encrustation, incrustation
    a decorative coating of contrasting material that is applied to a surface as an inlay or overlay
    a decoration made by fitting pieces of wood into prepared slots in a surface
    decor, interior decoration
    decoration consisting of the layout and furnishings of a livable interior
    knob, pommel
    an ornament in the shape of a ball on the hilt of a sword or dagger
    a crescent-shaped metal ornament of the Bronze Age
    molding, moulding
    a decorative strip used for ornamentation or finishing
    something resembling the head of a nail that is used as an ornamental device
    decoration worn about the neck (fur piece or tight necklace) as an ornament
    a layer of decorative material (such as gold leaf or wood veneer) applied over a surface
    a Scandinavian style of carved or painted decoration (as on furniture or walls or dinnerware) consisting of floral motifs
    set decoration
    a decoration used as part of the set of a theatrical or movie production
    a ceramic or mural decoration made by scratching off a surface layer to reveal the ground
    spiral, volute
    ornament consisting of a curve on a plane that winds around a center with an increasing distance from the center
    an ornament that resembles a spray of leaves or flowers
    rivet, stud
    ornament consisting of a circular rounded protuberance (as on a vault or shield or belt)
    fin, tail fin, tailfin
    one of a pair of decorations projecting above the rear fenders of an automobile
    a showy decoration that is basically valueless
    decoration consisting of an open pattern of interlacing ribs
    wind bell, wind chime
    a decorative arrangement of pieces of metal or glass or pottery that hang together loosely so the wind can cause them to tinkle
    something (such as parsley) added to a dish for flavor or decoration
    small pieces of shiny material used as decoration
    annulet, bandelet, bandelette, bandlet, square and rabbet
    molding in the form of a ring; at top of a column
    carved ornament at the eaves of a tile roof concealing the joints between tiles
    the molding around a door or window
    argyle, argyll
    a design consisting of a pattern of varicolored diamonds on a solid background (originally for knitted articles); patterned after the tartan of a clan in western Scotland
    band, banding, stripe
    an adornment consisting of a strip of a contrasting color or material
    bangle, bauble, fallal, gaud, gewgaw, novelty, trinket
    cheap showy jewelry or ornament on clothing
    baseboard, mopboard, skirting board
    a molding covering the joint formed by a wall and the floor
    astragal, bead, beading, beadwork
    a beaded molding for edging or decorating furniture
    bear claw
    an incised design resembling the claw of a bear; used in Native American pottery
    beauty spot
    a spot that is worn on a lady's face for adornment
    boule, boulle, buhl
    an inlaid furniture decoration; tortoiseshell and yellow and white metal form scrolls in cabinetwork
    bouquet, corsage, nosegay, posy
    an arrangement of flowers that is usually given as a present
    a flower that is worn in a buttonhole
    a concave molding shaped like a quarter circle in cross section
    decorated metal band worn around the head
    conge, congee
    (architecture) a concave molding
    adornment consisting of an ornamental ribbon or cord
    a molding at the corner between the ceiling and the top of a wall
    an architectural ornament of curved foliage used at the edge of a spire or gable
    a decoration using cusps
    cyma, cymatium
    (architecture) a molding for a cornice; in profile it is shaped like an S (partly concave and partly convex)
    a design produced by inlaying gold or silver into steel
    decal, decalcomania
    either a design that is fixed to some surface or a paper bearing the design which is to be transferred to the surface
    any ornamental pattern or design (as in embroidery)
    a carved pyramidal ornament; used in 13th century England
    dossal, dossel
    an ornamental hanging of rich fabric hung behind the altar of a church or at the sides of a chancel
    egg-and-anchor, egg-and-dart, egg-and-tongue
    a decorative molding; a series of egg-shaped figures alternating with another shape
    emblem, icon
    special design or visual object representing a quality, type, group, etc.
    epaulet, epaulette
    adornment consisting of an ornamental cloth pad worn on the shoulder
    a large table centerpiece with branching holders for fruit or sweets or flowers
    fan tracery
    the carved tracery on fan vaulting
    an embellishment consisting of a decorative representation of a string of flowers suspended between two points; used on pottery or in architectural work
    filagree, filigree, fillagree
    delicate and intricate ornamentation (usually in gold or silver or other fine twisted wire)
    flower chain
    flowers strung together in a chain
    an adornment that hangs from a watch chain
    foliage, foliation
    (architecture) leaf-like architectural ornament
    Greek fret, Greek key, fret, key pattern
    an ornamental pattern consisting of repeated vertical and horizontal lines (often in relief)
    an architectural ornament consisting of a horizontal sculptured band between the architrave and the cornice
    flounce, frill, furbelow, ruffle
    a strip of pleated material used as a decoration or a trim
    a decorative loop of braid or cord
    frontal, frontlet
    an adornment worn on the forehead
    gorgerin, necking
    the molding at the top of a column
    an architectural decoration formed by two intersecting wavy bands
    herringbone, herringbone pattern
    a pattern of columns of short parallel lines with all the lines in one column sloping one way and lines in adjacent columns sloping the other way; it is used in weaving, masonry, parquetry, embroidery
    jewellery, jewelry
    an adornment (as a bracelet or ring or necklace) made of precious metals and set with gems (or imitation gems)
    a Japanese (paper or silk) wall hanging; usually narrow with a picture or writing on it and a roller at the bottom
    short and decorative hanging for a shelf edge or top of a window casing
    a design carved in relief into a block of linoleum
    any of various geometric designs (usually circular) symbolizing the universe; used chiefly in Hinduism and Buddhism as an aid to meditation
    marqueterie, marquetry
    inlaid veneers are fitted together to form a design or picture that is then used to ornament furniture
    (Islam) a design in the shape of niche in a Muslim prayer rug; during worship the niche must be pointed toward Mecca
    motif, motive
    a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colors, as in architecture or decoration
    ovolo, quarter round, thumb
    a convex molding having a cross section in the form of a quarter of a circle or of an ellipse
    parqueterie, parquetry
    a patterned wood inlay used to cover a floor
    pectoral, pectoral medallion
    an adornment worn on the chest or breast
    pendant, pendent
    an adornment that hangs from a piece of jewelry (necklace or earring)
    a feather or cluster of feathers worn as an ornament
    polka dot
    design consisting of a pattern of regularly spaced circular spots
    pom-pom, pompon
    decoration consisting of a ball of tufted wool or silk; usually worn on a hat
    a design produced by pyrography
    quirk molding, quirk moulding
    a molding having a small groove in it
    a projecting molding on the underside of a vault or ceiling; may be ornamental or structural
    an ornament or pattern resembling a rose that is worn as a badge of office or as recognition of having won an honor
    screen saver
    (computer science) a moving design that appears on a computer screen when there has been no input for a specified period of time
    diamante, sequin, spangle
    adornment consisting of a small piece of shiny material used to decorate clothing
    flower arrangement consisting of a single branch or shoot bearing flowers and foliage
    the lowest molding of an architectural base or of a baseboard
    a design consisting of a central disk resembling the sun and rays emanating from it
    the molding or border above the base of a structure (a pedestal or podium or wall)
    arras, tapestry
    a wall hanging of heavy handwoven fabric with pictorial designs
    adornment consisting of a bunch of cords fastened at one end
    a design on the skin made by tattooing
    tetraskele, tetraskelion
    a figure consisting of four stylized human arms or legs (or bent lines) radiating from a center
    tore, torus
    commonly the lowest molding at the base of a column
    an architectural ornament in the form of three arcs arranged in a circle
    passementerie, trim, trimming
    a decoration or adornment on a garment
    triskele, triskelion
    a figure consisting of three stylized human arms or legs (or three bent lines) radiating from a center
    a decoration consisting of wormlike carvings
    war paint
    adornment consisting of paint applied to the face and body of certain Amerindians before a battle
    pattern of weaving or structure of a fabric
    chaplet, coronal, garland, lei, wreath
    flower arrangement consisting of a circular band of foliage or flowers for ornamental purposes
    a pattern of marks
    an ornamental embellishment in writing
    a flavorful addition on top of a dish
    type of:
    artefact, artifact
    a man-made object taken as a whole
  3. noun
    an award for winning a championship or commemorating some other event
    synonyms: laurel wreath, medal, medallion, palm, ribbon
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    Congressional Medal of Honor, Medal of Honor
    the highest U.S. military decoration awarded for bravery and valor in action `above and beyond the call of duty'
    Distinguished Service Medal
    a United States military decoration for meritorious service in wartime duty of great responsibility
    Distinguished Service Cross
    a United States Army decoration for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy
    Navy Cross
    a United States Navy decoration for extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy
    Distinguished Flying Cross
    a United States Air Force decoration for heroism while participating in an aerial flight
    Air Medal
    a United States Air Force decoration for meritorious achievement while participating in an aerial flight
    Silver Star, Silver Star Medal
    a United States military decoration for gallantry in action
    Bronze Star, Bronze Star Medal
    a United States military decoration awarded for meritorious service (except in aerial flight)
    Order of the Purple Heart, Purple Heart
    a United States military decoration awarded to any member of the armed forces who is wounded in action
    Oak Leaf Cluster
    a United States military decoration consisting of bronze or silver oak leaves and acorns awarded to anyone who has won a given medal before
    Victoria Cross
    a British military decoration for gallantry
    Distinguished Conduct Medal
    a British military decoration for distinguished conduct in the field
    Distinguished Service Order
    a British military decoration for special service in action
    Croix de Guerre
    a French military decoration for gallantry
    Medaille Militaire
    a French military decoration
    type of:
    accolade, award, honor, honour, laurels
    a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
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