1837, "a melodic decoration consisting of the prolongation of one syllable over a number of notes," from Greek melisma "a song, an air, a tune, melody," from melos "music, song, melody; musical phrase or member," literally "limb," a word of uncertain origin. Related: Melismatic.
"a rose-shaped ornament, any circular ornament having many small parts in concentric circles," especially a bunch or knot of ribbons worn as a decoration, 1790, from French rosette, diminutive of rose "rose" (see rose (n.1)).
"divided into compartments, partitioned" (especially in reference to surface decoration), 1863, from French cloisonné, from cloison "a partition" (12c., in Old French, "enclosure"), from Provençal clausio, from Vulgar Latin *clausio, noun of action from past participle stem of claudere "to close, shut" (see close (v.) ).
1926, in reference to an abstract artistic and theatrical movement, emphasizing machines and mechanical devices, begun in Russia c. 1920, from Russian konstruktivizm; see constructive + -ism. Related: Constructivist.
THE out-and-out Constructivists have announced that the stage setting not only must be stripped of every shred of adventitious decoration but must be conceived anti-decoratively. [Sheldon Cheney, "Constructivism," Theatre Arts, vol. xi, 1927]
c. 1200, ournement, "an accessory; something that serves primarily for use but also may serve as adornment; ornamental apparel, jewels," from Old French ornement "ornament, decoration," and directly from Latin ornamentum "apparatus, equipment, trappings; embellishment, decoration, trinket," from ornare "to equip, adorn," from stem of ordo "row, rank, series, arrangement" (see order (n.)).
The sense shift in English to "something employed simply to adorn or decorate, something added as an embellishment, whatever lends grace or beauty to that to which it is added or belongs" is by late 14c. (this also was a secondary sense in classical Latin). Meaning "outward appearance, mere display" is from 1590s. The figurative use is from 1550s; the meaning "one who adds luster to one's sphere or surroundings" is from 1570s.
early 15c., "beautifying, made to remove or cover up blemishes," from Old French decoratif and directly from decorat-, past-participle stem of Latin decorare "to decorate, adorn, embellish, beautify," from decus (genitive decoris) "an ornament; grace, dignity, honor," from PIE root *dek- "to take, accept" (on the notion of "to add grace"). From 1791 as "of or pertaining to decoration, of an ornamental nature."