• burgeon
  • audio pronunciation
  • \BER-jun\
  • DEFINITION

verb

1
a : to send forth new growth (as buds or branches) : sprout b : bloom
2
: to grow and expand rapidly : flourish
  • EXAMPLES

The trout population in the stream is burgeoning now that the water is clean.

"James Campbell High School wasn't built to hold thousands of students. When Campbell first opened in 1962, it served a modest population of plantation families. Little did the state know that Ewa Beach would burgeon as part of … a region that saw its population grow by nearly 19 percent between 2000 and 2010. " — From an article by Alia Wong in the Honolulu Civil Beat (Hawaii), April 26, 2013

  • DID YOU KNOW?

"Burgeon" comes from the Middle English word "burjonen," which is from Anglo-French "burjuner"; both mean "to bud or sprout." "Burgeon" is often used figuratively, as when P.G. Wodehouse used it in Joy in the Morning: "I weighed this. It sounded promising. Hope began to burgeon." Usage commentators have objected to the use of "burgeon" to mean "to flourish" or "to grow rapidly," insisting that any figurative use should stay true to the word's earliest literal meaning and distinguish budding or sprouting from subsequent growing. But the sense of "burgeon" that indicates growing or expanding and prospering (as in "the burgeoning music scene" or "the burgeoning international market") has been in established use for decades, and is, in fact, the most common use of "burgeon" today.

Name That Antonym: What antonym of "burgeon" rhymes with "kindle"? The answer is …

  • MORE WORDS OF THE DAY

Visit our archives to see previous selections ยป

  • FEATURED ITEM FROM OUR STORE

An expressive t-shirt:

"Use Your Words"

Browse all items »

  • PODCAST

Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP

  • SUBSCRIBE

Subscribe to the Word of the Day e-mail

Manage Your Account