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


flux, income, inflow, influx, inpouring, inrush


outflow, outpouring

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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

In prison everyone is treated the same, dressed the same, and intermingled regardless of affluence, position or fame. Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times, "William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman tell their side of college admissions scandal," 7 Sep. 2019 Atherton’s affluence, July 28, Business Report, D2 The Net Worth column that began on D1 mischaracterized the school districts serving Atherton., "Corrections," 29 July 2019 To see what percentage of earners achieve different levels of affluence over time, Dr. Hirschl and Mark R. Rank, a sociologist at Washington University, examined data from 1968 through 2011 that was collected by the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Jo Craven Mcginty, WSJ, "Earnings in the U.S.: A Game of Chutes and Ladders," 14 June 2019 These cities vary widely, from types of industry to affluence to sources of power on the local grid. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "China is on track to beat its peak-emissions pledge," 30 July 2019 In the context of Asia’s growing affluence, aging—a process many consumers around the world approach with fear and loathing, and attempt to fend off with expensive creams, supplements, and all manner of antidotal services—has taken on a new appeal. Catherine Feliciano-chon, Quartz, "Asia’s affluent boomers are making aging aspirational," 29 July 2019 Moore’s Theresa, all affluence, confidence, and big gestures, comes to own the movie in one late devastating scene; as the man between them, Crudup brings quiet empathy to an uneasy role. Leah Greenblatt,, "Domestic drama After the Wedding offers pretty melancholy and movie stars," 8 Aug. 2019 Someone born into privilege and affluence — let’s take the president of the United States, for example — can have trouble understanding the power of such yearning. Steve Lopezcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Steve Lopez goes to Italy and searches for his Sicilian roots," 17 July 2019 For these correspondents, the American Dream is not affluence. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: ‘Archiving Eden’ exhibition sprouts interest with macro photos," 5 July 2019

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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Statistics for affluence

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for affluence

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

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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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Comments on affluence

What made you want to look up affluence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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