• efflorescence
  • audio pronunciation
  • \ef-luh-RESS-unss\
  • DEFINITION

noun

1
a : the action or process of developing and unfolding as if coming into flower b : an instance of such development c : fullness of manifestation : culmination
2
: the period or state of flowering
3
: the process or product of efflorescing chemically
  • EXAMPLES

"Besides introducing popular religion, the late eleventh century ushered in an intellectual efflorescence as well." — From Ronald M. Davidson's 2005 book Tibetan Renaissance

"Perhaps a collective sense of anxiety about the natural world … has prompted an efflorescence of books about trees from an aesthetic and cultural standpoint in the last decade or so." — From a review by William Pannapacker in The Chronicle of Higher Education, July 16, 2012

  • DID YOU KNOW?

When Edgar Allan Poe spoke of an "efflorescence of language" in The Poetic Principle, he was referring to language that was flowery, or overly rich and colorful. This ties in to the garden roots of "efflorescence," a word, like "flourish," that comes from the Latin word for "flower." More commonly, however, "efflorescence" refers to the literal or figurative act of blossoming much like a flower does. You could speak of "the efflorescence of nature in springtime," for example, or "the efflorescence of culture during the Renaissance." "Efflorescence" is also used in chemistry to refer to a process that occurs when something changes to a powder from loss of water of crystallization.

Test Your Memory: What former Word of the Day can mean "containing more words than necessary" or "given to wordiness"? The answer is …

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