embellishment

Does your cupcake have chocolate icing on top, plus chocolate sprinkles AND a swirl of white chocolate? If so, that swirl of white chocolate is considered an embellishment — an unnecessary decorative detail designed purely to attract you. Also, can we have a bite?

Anything can have an embellishment, not just a cupcake; a building can have an unnecessary decorative element, and so can an explanation or a story. There is often a sense of deception implied by the word: it may be a harmless swirl of white chocolate but it can also be a detail designed to fool someone. Real estate agents are experts at adding embellishments to their descriptions of properties that may not be entirely true. Watch out for embellishments.

Definitions of embellishment
  1. noun
    the act of adding extraneous decorations to something
    synonyms: ornamentation
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    type of:
    decoration
    the act of decorating something (in the hope of making it more attractive)
  2. noun
    a superfluous ornament
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    types:
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    boule, boulle, buhl
    an inlaid furniture decoration; tortoiseshell and yellow and white metal form scrolls in cabinetwork
    cuspidation
    a decoration using cusps
    festoon
    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)
    vermiculation
    a decoration consisting of wormlike carvings
    flourish
    an ornamental embellishment in writing
    paraph
    a flourish added after or under your signature (originally to protect against forgery)
    type of:
    decoration, ornament, ornamentation
    something used to beautify
  3. noun
    elaboration of an interpretation by the use of decorative (sometimes fictitious) detail
    “the mystery has been heightened by many embellishments in subsequent retellings”
    synonyms: embroidery
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    type of:
    elaboration, enlargement, expansion
    a discussion that provides additional information
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