tr.v. em·bel·lished, em·bel·lish·ing, em·bel·lish·es
1. To make beautiful, as by ornamentation; decorate.
2. To add ornamental or fictitious details to: a fanciful account that embellishes the true story.
[Middle English embelishen, from Old French embellir, embelliss- : en-, causative pref.; see EN-1 + bel, beautiful (from Latin bellus; see deu-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots).]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.