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I'm looking for a word (verb) meaning decorate/embellish too much — in a bad sense — and in particular having the tint of being too much so that something instead of being beautiful becomes fussy and ugly.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I don't know of any better single verbs than overdecorate, overornament or overembellish. Bedizen is good if you don't mind obscure. I might be tempted to coin baroquify. Related, possibly useful phrases include to tart [something] up and gilding the lily.

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I like "bedizen." I'm not sure when I would ever use it, but I like it. I can very easily imagine using "baroquify," but I do like making up words. :) – kitukwfyer May 28 '11 at 0:12
If you're going to coin go with "Rococoinate". – dmckee May 28 '11 at 0:32
Thanks a lot! I very much liked the idiom gilding the lily; I found the definition here: thefreedictionary.com/gilding+the+lily (bedizen is not exactly what I was looking for). – Pantelis Sopasakis May 28 '11 at 7:52
Note: dictionaries list bedizen as archaic. – Unreason Aug 10 '11 at 9:27
@chaos first read that as bedazzled. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Jun 19 '12 at 21:52

Adjectivally, you could describe something as "baroque" (extravagantly ornate, florid, and convoluted in character or style) or "florid" (flowery; excessively ornate; showy), or "overly extravagant".

Verbwise, I can't think of any single word that encompasses that extent of a description unless you want to go for something like "overembellished" with an additional phrase to point out how far beyond the pale it's gone: "He had overembellished it to the point that it became a grotesque parody of its potential nature", or "he had embellished it well past the point of baroque floridity."

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+1: This would be my choice. – Robusto May 29 '11 at 16:14
However, do note that baroque is period and style, and as such the extravagance of some of the better works would be considered positive (at least by some; example: Trevi Fountain in Rome) – Unreason Aug 10 '11 at 9:31

How about gaudy?

–adjective, gaud·i·er, gaud·i·est.
1. brilliantly or excessively showy: gaudy plumage.
2. cheaply showy in a tasteless way; flashy.
3. ostentatiously ornamented; garish.

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I think gaudy is a fine adjective, but the asker is looking for a verb. – John Y May 28 '11 at 14:29
Whoops, I missed that. Sorry. – Elemenliation May 28 '11 at 14:56
@John Well then gaudify, obviously. ;) – Matthew Frederick Jun 1 '11 at 14:33

There's actually one word to refer specifically to this. It's "kitsch":

a representation that is excessively sentimental, overdone, or vulgar

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Also recommended is to look at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitsch to see if the word fits. Note: 1926, from Ger., lit. "gaudy, trash," from dial. kitschen "to smear." – Unreason Aug 10 '11 at 9:20

I would use the verb "overdo." What exactly has been overdone is usually pretty obvious. Saying something is really overdone usually means it's tacky or overwrought, which I think is what you're looking for.

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The word that springs to mind is: Overdecorated.

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How about garish?

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) [wn]:

garish adj 1: tastelessly showy; "a flash car"; "a flashy ring"; "garish colors"; "a gaudy costume"; "loud sport shirts"; "a meretricious yet stylish book"; "tawdry ornaments" [syn: {brassy}, {cheap}, {flash}, {flashy}, {garish}, {gaudy}, {gimcrack}, {loud}, {meretricious}, {tacky}, {tatty}, {tawdry}, {trashy}]

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Make gaudy... over-decorate.

Maybe bedeck

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This is really a comment, not an answer to the question. Please use "add comment" to leave feedback for the author. – kiamlaluno Aug 14 '12 at 23:17

Ragged or shabby means unattractive. When a more complex decoration is applied to something it becomes ugly. It doesn't look professionally made.

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