Embroidery is the act of decorating a piece of cloth with a stitched design. You may have seen large medieval examples of embroidery hanging on the walls of museums depicting flowers and wild animals and the like.

Embroidery also has a common figurative meaning of something deceptive, or an excessive and unnecessary detail designed to mislead, or simply something vain and foolish (see embellishment.) The great American designer Buckminster Fuller summed up this sense of the word nicely: "Tombs are the clothes of the dead and a grave is a plain suit; while an expensive monument is one with embroidery."

Definitions of embroidery

n decorative needlework

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loops of soft yarn are cut to give a tufted pattern
embroidery done with loosely twisted worsted yarn
embroidery done with pairs of stitches that cross each other
embroidery in which the design is outlined in a buttonhole stitch and the intervening material is cut away
ornamental needlework done by drawing threads to form lacelike patterns
faggoting, fagoting
embroidery in which groups of parallel threads are tied together with fagot stitches
embroidery similar to drawnwork
needlepoint, needlepoint embroidery
embroidery consisting of allover embroidered canvas resembling tapestry
a piece of embroidery demonstrating skill with various stitches
embroidery consisting of ornamental needlework on a garment that is made by gathering the cloth tightly in stitches
gros point
needlepoint embroidery done with large stitches
petit point
needlepoint done with small stitches
Type of:
needlecraft, needlework
a creation created or assembled by needle and thread

n elaboration of an interpretation by the use of decorative (sometimes fictitious) detail

Type of:
elaboration, enlargement, expansion
a discussion that provides additional information

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