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noun \ˈfler\

Simple Definition of flare

  • : a light that shines brightly and briefly

  • : a very bright light that is used to give a signal, to light up something, or to attract attention; also : a device that produces such a light

  • : a sudden expression of anger

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of flare

  1. 1 a :  a fire or blaze of light used especially to signal, illuminate, or attract attention; also :  a device or composition used to produce such a flare

  2. 2 :  an unsteady glaring light b :  solar flare; also :  a sudden increase and decrease in the brightness of a star often amounting to a difference of several magnitudes

  3. 3 a :  a sudden outburst (as of excitement or anger) b :  flare-up 3

  4. 4 a :  a spreading outward; also :  a place or part that spreads b :  an area of skin flush

  5. 5 :  light resulting from reflection (as between lens surfaces) or an effect of this light (as a fogged or dense area in a photographic negative)

  6. 6 a :  a short pass in football thrown to a back who is running toward the sideline b :  a weakly hit fly ball in baseball <a flare into short right field>

  7. 7 plural :  pants that flare toward the bottom

Examples of flare in a sentence

  1. the sudden flare of the match

  2. When the crew saw flares, they knew the other ship was in trouble.

Origin of flare

origin unknown

First Known Use: 1580




Simple Definition of flare

  • : to shine or burn suddenly and briefly

  • : to become suddenly excited, angry, or active

  • : to open or spread outward

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of flare


  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to burn with an unsteady flame b :  to stream in the wind

  3. 2 a :  to shine with a sudden light <a match flares in the darkness> b (1) :  to become suddenly excited or angry —usually used with up (2) :  to break out or intensify usually suddenly or violently —often used with up c :  to express strong emotion (as anger)

  4. 3 :  to open or spread outward <the pants flare at the bottom>

  5. transitive verb
  6. 1 :  to display conspicuously <flaring her scarf to attract attention>

  7. 2 :  to cause to flare <the breeze flares the candle>

  8. 3 :  to signal with a flare or by flaring

  9. 4 :  to burn (a jet of waste gas) in the open air

Examples of flare in a sentence

  1. pants that flare at the bottom

  2. The bull flared its nostrils.


First Known Use of flare


FLARE Defined for Kids



verb \ˈfler\

Definition of flare for Students


  1. 1 :  to burn with an unsteady flame <… they watched the fire … flaring through the fog … — Charles Dickens, The Cricket on the Hearth>

  2. 2 :  to shine or burn suddenly or briefly <A match flared in the darkness.>

  3. 3 :  to become angry or active <She flared up at the remarks.> <His asthma has flared up.>

  4. 4 :  to spread outward <Her nostrils flared.>




Definition of flare for Students

  1. 1 :  a sudden blaze of light <the flare of a match>

  2. 2 :  a blaze of light used to signal, light up something, or attract attention

  3. 3 :  a device or material used to produce a flare <The emergency kit included flares.>

  4. 4 :  a sudden outburst <She displayed a flare of anger.>

  5. 5 :  a spreading outward :  a part that spreads outward <the flare of a skirt>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up flare? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a division or portion of a pool or whole

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