SKIP TO CONTENT

decorative

Things that are decorative have no purpose except to look pretty. Blueberry bushes produce fruit that humans and birds can eat, while boxwood shrubs are purely decorative.

The fake buttons on your winter coat are just decorative — then again, your high heeled shoes are more decorative than useful, and your jewelry and makeup is also decorative. The knickknacks on your mantel, the wreath on your front door, and the creepy doll collection in your living room are all decorative as well. These things dress up or ornament your home, and decorative comes from the Latin root decorare, "to decorate, adorn, or beautify."

Definitions of decorative
  1. adjective
    serving an aesthetic rather than a useful purpose
    “the buildings were utilitarian rather than decorative
    synonyms: cosmetic, ornamental
    nonfunctional
    not having or performing a function
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week