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verb \ˈflō\

Simple Definition of flow

  • of liquid, gas, or electricity : to move in a steady and continuous way

  • : to move in a continuous and smooth way

  • : to move, come, or go continuously in one direction

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of flow

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a (1) :  to issue or move in a stream (2) :  circulate b :  to move with a continual change of place among the constituent particles <molasses flows slowly>

  3. 2 :  rise <the tide ebbs and flows>

  4. 3 :  abound <a land flowing with natural resources>

  5. 4 a :  to proceed smoothly and readily <conversation flowed easily> b :  to have a smooth continuity

  6. 5 :  to hang loose and billowing <her gown flowed around her>

  7. 6 :  to derive from a source :  come <the wealth that flows from trade>

  8. 7 :  to deform under stress without cracking or rupturing —used especially of minerals and rocks

  9. 8 :  menstruate

  10. transitive verb
  11. 1 :  to cause to flow

  12. 2 :  to discharge in a flow


play \-iŋ-lē\ adverb

Examples of flow in a sentence

  1. rivers flowing into the sea

  2. She opened the faucet and the water began to flow freely.

  3. a device that measures the amount of electricity flowing through a circuit

  4. Traffic has been flowing smoothly from east to west.

  5. The grain flowed smoothly down the elevator chute.

  6. Requests have flowed into the office.

  7. Money has continued to flow in.

Origin and Etymology of flow

Middle English, from Old English flōwan; akin to Old High German flouwen to rinse, wash, Latin pluere to rain, Greek plein to sail, float

First Known Use: before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of flow

spring, arise, rise, originate, derive, flow, issue, emanate, proceed, stem mean to come up or out of something into existence. spring implies rapid or sudden emerging <an idea that springs to mind>. arise and rise may both convey the fact of coming into existence or notice but rise often stresses gradual growth or ascent <new questions have arisen> <slowly rose to prominence>. originate implies a definite source or starting point <the fire originated in the basement>. derive implies a prior existence in another form <the holiday derives from an ancient Roman feast>. flow adds to spring a suggestion of abundance or ease of inception <words flowed easily from her pen>. issue suggests emerging from confinement through an outlet <blood issued from the cut>. emanate applies to the coming of something immaterial (as a thought) from a source <reports emanating from the capital>. proceed stresses place of origin, derivation, parentage, or logical cause <advice that proceeds from the best of intentions>. stem implies originating by dividing or branching off from something as an outgrowth or subordinate development <industries stemming from space research>.




Simple Definition of flow

  • : an act of flowing : the movement of something that is flowing

  • : a large area of mud or some other material that is flowing or that was formed by flowing

  • : the amount of something that flows in a certain time

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of flow

  1. 1 :  an act of flowing

  2. 2 a :  flood 1a b :  flood 2 <the tide's ebb and flow>

  3. 3 a :  a smooth uninterrupted movement or progress <a flow of information> b :  stream; also :  a mass of material which has flowed when molten <an old lava flow> c :  the direction of movement or development <go with the flow>

  4. 4 :  the quantity that flows in a certain time <a gauge that measures fuel flow>

  5. 5 :  menstruation

  6. 6 a :  the motion characteristic of fluids b :  a continuous transfer of energy

Examples of flow in a sentence

  1. a sudden flow of tears

  2. a steady flow of traffic

  3. The doctor was trying to stop the flow of blood.

  4. We want to encourage the free flow of ideas.

  5. the westward flow of settlers

  6. We've been receiving a constant flow of phone calls.

  7. measuring blood flow to the brain

15th Century

First Known Use of flow

15th century

FLOW Defined for Kids



verb \ˈflō\

Definition of flow for Students



  1. 1 :  to move in or as if in a stream <The river flows to the sea.> <She felt relief flow through her.>

  2. 2 :  to glide along smoothly <Traffic is flowing on the highway.>

  3. 3 :  to hang loose and waving <Her hair flowed down.>




Definition of flow for Students

  1. 1 :  an act of moving in or as if in a stream <a flow of tears> <a flow of praise>

  2. 2 :  the rise of the tide <the ebb and flow of the tide>

  3. 3 :  a smooth even movement :  stream <the flow of conversation> <a flow of information>

  4. 4 :  an amount or mass of something moving in a stream <blood flow>

Medical Dictionary



intransitive verb \ˈflō\

Medical Definition of flow

  1. 1:  to move with a continual change of place among the constituent particles <blood flows toward the heart in veins>

  2. 2:  menstruate




Medical Definition of flow

  1. 1:  the quantity that flows in a certain time

  2. 2:  menstruation

  3. 3:  the motion characteristic of fluids

Seen and Heard

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tending to vanish like vapor

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