early 13c., "an accessory," from Old French ornement "ornament, decoration," and directly from Latin ornamentum "apparatus, equipment, trappings; embellishment, decoration, trinket," from ornare "equip, adorn," from stem of ordo "row, rank, series, arrangement" (see order (n.)). Meaning "decoration, embellishment" in English is attested from late 14c. (also a secondary sense in classical Latin). Figurative use from 1550s.
1720, from ornament (n.). Middle English used ournen (late 14c.) in this sense, from Old French orner, from Latin ornare. Related: Ornamented; ornamenting.
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