verb (used with object)
- to decorate with ornamental needlework.
- to produce or form in needlework.
- to adorn or embellish rhetorically, especially with ornate language or fictitious details: He embroidered the account of the shipwreck to hold his listeners’ interest.
verb (used without object)
- to do embroidery.
- to add embellishments; exaggerate (often followed by on or upon).
- to do decorative needlework (upon)
- to add fictitious or fanciful detail to (a story)
- to add exaggerated or improbable details to (an account of an event, etc)
late 14c., from Anglo-French enbrouder, from en- “in” (see en- (1)) + broisder “embroider,” from Frankish *brozdon, from Proto-Germanic *bruzdajanan. Spelling with -oi- is from c.1600, perhaps by influence of broiden, irregular alternative Middle English past participle of braid (v.). Related: Embroidered; embroidering.