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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

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A Word A Day — festoon

Good morning Netizens...

January 03, 2013

Word of the Day

  • festoon
  • audio pronunciation
  • \fess-TOON\


: a decorative chain or strip hanging between two points
: a carved, molded, or painted ornament representing a decorative chain

Festoons of colored paper were draped along the classroom's walls.

"Imagine how the parlor was created and decorated, and note the bright azalea color of the silk drapery with festoons lined in an apple green." — From an article by Carleton Varney in the Palm Beach Daily News, March 23, 2012


"Festoon" can also be a verb that is used as a synonym of "decorate" or "adorn" (as in "the room was festooned with streamers and balloons"). The verb "festoon," which first appeared in the late 1700s, comes from the noun "festoon," which appeared over 100 years earlier. "Festoon" traces back (by way of French and Italian) to Latin "festa," the plural of "festum," meaning "festival." "Festa" is also an ancestor of the English noun "feast."

From Merriam-Webster Online at



Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.