af·​flu·​ence | \ ˈa-(ˌ)flü-ən(t)s How to pronounce affluence (audio) also a-ˈflü- How to pronounce affluence (audio) or ə- \

Definition of affluence

1a : abundance of property : wealth rose from poverty to affluence
b : an abundant flow or supply : profusion … to attain that breadth and height, that wealth of muscle, that affluence of flesh.— Charlotte Brontë
2 : a flowing to or toward a point : influx

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Synonyms & Antonyms for affluence



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What is the origin of affluence?

Affluence comes from the Latin verb affluere, "to flow abundantly". Thus, someone or something blessed with affluence has received an incoming flood of riches. Since the affluent residents of suburbs often work in the central city but pay taxes back home, the wealth of some metropolitan areas tends to flow in one direction—out.

Examples of affluence in a Sentence

this affluence of new students is straining an already crowded school system
Recent Examples on the Web And here Lozada comes close to the core of the matter: Messing around with the notion of truth is a luxury that comes with affluence. New York Times, "Does an Intellectual History of the Trump Era Exist? It Does Now," 6 Oct. 2020 Named for the economist Simon Kuznets, EKC posits a relationship between a country's affluence and the condition of its environment. Andrew Mcafee, Wired, "Why Degrowth Is the Worst Idea on the Planet," 6 Oct. 2020 In preparing to develop the new Ghost, Rolls-Royce learned that customers who would typically buy this model no longer wanted an eye-catching emblem of affluence. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "The Rolls-Royce Ghost was so eerily quiet the engineers had to make it louder," 1 Sep. 2020 And while the cultural changes facilitated by affluence have influenced everyone, today’s unscripted relationship path — filled with looser, more nebulous commitments — is far riskier for those with fewer resources. Mike Lee, National Review, "Strengthen America by Strengthening Families," 18 Aug. 2020 The city also has an abundance of affluence, which turns out to be protective against Covid-19, because spacious living quarters and bank accounts insulate people from one another. Daniel Duane, Wired, "San Francisco Was Uniquely Prepared for Covid-19," 11 Aug. 2020 Much of the growing affluence of North American ports like Boston, New York, and Philadelphia was likewise based on trade with the West Indies. Fara Dabhoiwala, The New York Review of Books, "Speech and Slavery in the West Indies," 3 Aug. 2020 The report didn't explain why people have scaled back their measures of affluence, but a lot of Americans likely have lowered their expectations and aspirations. Russ Wiles, The Arizona Republic, "Beyond job losses, Americans face many types of coronavirus financial fallout. The impact will linger," 2 Aug. 2020 This promise of imminent affluence—totally at odds with the present reality of skyrocketing unemployment—was not the only surprising aspect of the essay. Kim Phillips-fein, The New Republic, "The Lost Rebellious Spirit of Keynes," 9 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'affluence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of affluence

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for affluence

Middle English, "abundance, profusion," borrowed from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Latin affluentia, noun derivative of affluent-, affluens affluent entry 1 — more at -ence

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Time Traveler for affluence

Time Traveler

The first known use of affluence was in the 14th century

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Statistics for affluence

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Affluence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for affluence


af·​flu·​ence | \ ˈa-ˌflü-əns How to pronounce affluence (audio) \

Kids Definition of affluence

: the state of having much money and expensive things : wealth

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