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verb flour·ish \ˈflər-ish, ˈflə-rish\

Simple Definition of flourish

  • : to grow well : to be healthy

  • : to be very successful : to do very well

  • : to hold up and show (something) in an excited or proud way

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of flourish

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 :  to grow luxuriantly :  thrive

  3. 2 a :  to achieve success :  prosper <a flourishing business> b :  to be in a state of activity or production <flourished around 1850> c :  to reach a height of development or influence

  4. 3 :  to make bold and sweeping gestures

  5. transitive verb
  6. :  to wield with dramatic gestures :  brandish




play \-i-shiŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of flourish in a sentence

  1. plants and animals that flourished here thousands of years ago

  2. Regional markets have flourished in recent years.

  3. a decorative style that flourished in the 1920s

  4. Dressed as a pirate, he entered the stage flourishing his sword.

Origin and Etymology of flourish

Middle English florisshen, from Anglo-French fluriss-, stem of flurir, florir, from Vulgar Latin *florire, alteration of Latin florēre, from flor-, flos flower

First Known Use: 14th century

Synonym Discussion of flourish

swing, wave, flourish, brandish, thrash mean to wield or cause to move to and fro or up and down. swing implies regular or uniform movement <swing the rope back and forth>. wave usually implies smooth or continuous motion <waving the flag>. flourish suggests vigorous, ostentatious, graceful movement <flourished the winning lottery ticket>. brandish implies threatening or menacing motion <brandishing a knife>. thrash suggests vigorous, abrupt, violent movement <an infant thrashing his arms about>.

swing, sway, oscillate, vibrate, fluctuate, waver, undulate mean to move from one direction to its opposite. swing implies a movement of something attached at one end or one side <the door suddenly swung open>. sway implies a slow swinging or teetering movement <trees swaying in the breeze>. oscillate stresses a usually regular alternation of direction <an oscillating fan>. vibrate suggests the rapid oscillation of an elastic body under stress or impact <the vibrating strings of a piano>. fluctuate suggests constant irregular changes of level, intensity, or value <fluctuating interest rates>. waver stresses irregular motion suggestive of reeling or tottering <the exhausted runner wavered before collapsing>. undulate suggests a gentle wavelike motion <an undulating sea of grass>.



noun flour·ish

Simple Definition of flourish

  • : something that is added as a detail or decoration

  • : a dramatic or fancy way of doing something

  • : a sudden smooth movement that is likely to be noticed

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of flourish

  1. 1 :  an act or instance of brandishing or waving

  2. 2 a :  a florid bit of speech or writing <rhetorical flourishes> b :  an ornamental stroke in writing or printing c :  a decorative or finishing detail <a house with clever little flourishes>

  3. 3 :  fanfare

  4. 4 a :  a period of thriving b :  a luxuriant growth or profusion <a flourish of white hair> <a springtime flourish of color>

  5. 5 :  showiness in the doing of something <opened the door with a flourish>

  6. 6 :  a sudden burst <a flourish of activity>

Examples of flourish in a sentence

  1. the floral flourishes in the living room

  2. a house with many clever little flourishes

  3. Her writing style is simple and clear, without unnecessary flourishes.

  4. Dinner was served with a flourish.

  5. He waved his sword with a flourish.

  6. She opened the door with a flourish.

  7. With a flourish of her pen, she signed the bill into law.

Circa 1552

First Known Use of flourish

circa 1552

FLOURISH Defined for Kids



verb flour·ish \ˈflər-ish\

Definition of flourish for Students



  1. 1 :  to grow well :  thrive <Plants flourish in this rich soil.>

  2. 2 :  to do well :  enjoy success <This style of art flourished in the 1920s.>

  3. 3 :  to make sweeping movements with <He flourished a sword.>



noun flour·ish

Definition of flourish for Students

  1. 1 :  a fancy bit of decoration added to something <He added a flourish to his signature.>

  2. 2 :  a sweeping motion <She removed her hat with a flourish.>

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