af·​flu·​ent | \ ˈa-(ˌ)flü-ənt How to pronounce affluent (audio) also a-ˈflü- or ə- \

Definition of affluent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having an abundance of goods or riches : wealthy affluent families our affluent society
2 : flowing in abundance affluent streams affluent creativity



Definition of affluent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a tributary stream … its meandering stream, one of the smaller affluents of the Sacramento.— John Muir
2 [derivative of affluent entry 1] : a wealthy or affluent person The affluents exhibit far less demographic diversity than is exhibited in any of the lower-income segments of the population.— Pamela N. Danzinger

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from affluent


affluently adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for affluent


rich, wealthy, affluent, opulent mean having goods, property, and money in abundance. rich implies having more than enough to gratify normal needs or desires. became rich through shrewd investing wealthy stresses the possession of property and intrinsically valuable things. wealthy landowners affluent suggests prosperity and an increasing wealth. an affluent society opulent suggests lavish expenditure and display of great wealth, more often applying to things than people. an opulent mansion

Did You Know?


Are your coffers overflowing? Is your cash flow more than adequate? Are your assets fluid? If so, you can consider yourself affluent. Affluent is all about flow—that is to say, it's based on the Latin word for "flow," which is fluere. (Some other fluere descendants are confluence, fluctuate, fluid, influence, mellifluous, and superfluous.) The older sense of affluent refers, both literally and figuratively, to an abundant flow, as in "an affluent fountain" or "affluent joy." The use of "affluent fortune" for an abundant flow of money is what likely led to the use of affluent as a synonym of wealthy.

Examples of affluent in a Sentence

Adjective The store catered to a mostly affluent clientele that was relatively price insensitive, so we could afford to pay our suppliers a premium for the very best fish. The shop also developed a significant wholesale business, and soon the great and the good of London gastronomy were flocking to our door. — Frances Percival, Saveur, March 2008 A recent crop of books and articles give voice to this complaint. They happen to be written by journalists who are also well-educated and affluent mothers, but when it comes to parental discontent they are not alone. — Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, Commonweal, 16 June 2006 The Bay Area, which encompasses the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, as well as surrounding areas, is one of the nation's most affluent regions: More than 40% of the area's residents have annual household income of at least $75,000, versus only 25% in the country's other top 50 markets, according to Scarborough Research. — Eileen Davis Hudson et al., Editor & Publisher, 1 Oct. 2001 His family was more affluent than most. he is affluent and can afford to send his children to the best schools Noun the Nipigon and the St. Louis rivers are affluents of Lake Superior
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective De Blasio said if the federal government does not provide assistance to state and local governments then state lawmakers should convene in Albany and discuss a tax on affluent New Yorkers. Steve Bittenbender, Washington Examiner, "'Wealthy New Yorkers can afford to pay a little bit more': de Blasio undercuts Cuomo on enticing residents to return," 7 Aug. 2020 The Bacalar looks stunning, an auto show concept that a lucky group of affluent customers will actually be able to buy. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "2021 Bentley Mulliner Bacalar Concept Brings Open-Top Exclusivity," 7 Aug. 2020 Also in July, Disney and her brother Tim were among the 83 ultra-affluent signatories of an open letter calling for a permanent wealth tax to help coronavirus relief efforts. Horacio Silva, Town & Country, "The Rise of the Resistocrats: How Wealthy Scions Are Flocking to the Left," 4 Aug. 2020 On East Gull Lake, an affluent Brainerd-area enclave about 135 miles northwest of the Twin Cities, local officials are considering a proposal to allow residents to build private helicopter pads on their property. John Reinan, Star Tribune, "East Gull Lake is abuzz over proposal to allow helicopter pads on lakeshore," 2 Aug. 2020 Democrats have long circled this race as one to watch because the suburban relatively well-educated and affluent district is the kind that Republicans have seen slip away elsewhere in the country. Andrew Oxford, The Arizona Republic, "Primary elections lack drama, but not importance," 2 Aug. 2020 Though the rally has an ignominious history of biker gangs and lawlessness, bikers of a different sort have shown up in recent years — affluent professionals who ride for recreation and come flush with cash. Stephen Groves, Anchorage Daily News, "Annual Sturgis rally expecting 250K, stirring virus concerns," 2 Aug. 2020 As the affluent eat the most of these environmentally destructive products, their consumption should fall farthest and fastest. Troy Vettese, The New Republic, "An Inconvenient Lesson From the Pandemic: We Have to Stop Eating Meat," 31 July 2020 First, black Democrats tend to be more moderate and less affluent than other Democrats. CBS News, "CBS News Eye on Trends: The latest from the Election & Survey Unit," 30 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Anna Wintour surrogate Miranda had the power to make or break Andy’s career, but both were white women — one affluent, the other getting by financially, but both working with a similar amount of inherent privilege. Anne Cohen,, "The High Note Doesn’t Want To Be The Devil Wears Prada — & That’s A Good Thing," 1 June 2020 In fact, even as millions of jobs vanish, the president has talked about cutting payroll taxes and reducing the capital gains rate, another move that would disproportionately benefit the affluent. Max Abelson,, "Wall Street Titans See Tax Hikes Whether They Like Them or Not," 8 May 2020 Many have opened in affluent, predominantly white neighborhoods near hospitals instead of rural and low-income areas with limited care options, according to a News analysis. Miles Moffeit, Dallas News, "Standalone ERs could get money during COVID-19 crisis, but the neediest patients are less likely to benefit This article has comments enabled.," 21 Apr. 2020 For more late-night comedy, tune in early to watch THREE BUSY DEBRAS, a new show about three affluent, unhinged housewives that debuts at midnight. Sara Aridi, New York Times, "What’s on TV Sunday: ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ and ‘Beef House’," 29 Mar. 2020 An unceasing invasion of mass tourism threatens to turn Paris into a vast open-air theme park for the global affluent. Adam Nossiter, New York Times, "The Greening of Paris Makes Its Mayor More Than a Few Enemies," 5 Oct. 2019 Furthermore, policies that favor the affluent have continued to widen the gap, particularly between white families and black or Latino families. Kate Cimini, USA Today, "‘Puro cash’: Latinos are opening more small businesses than anyone else in the US," 24 Feb. 2020 Turzai had not faced any serious candidates in his affluent, traditionally Republican seat until 2018 when Emily Skopov, a Marshall Township Democrat, ran a competitive race. Salena Zito, Washington Examiner, "Pennsylvania Speaker of the House Mike Turzai to retire," 23 Jan. 2020 But their vote to repeal a large tax provision hitting the affluent comes during a push by many of the party’s leading presidential candidates to dramatically raise taxes on wealthy Americans to fund an array of new government programs. Washington Post, "House narrowly passes bill that would restore ‘SALT’ tax benefits to higher-income Americans," 19 Dec. 2019

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

See More

First Known Use of affluent


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1735, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for affluent


Middle English, "flowing in abundance, copious," borrowed from Latin affluent-, affluens "flowing with, abundant," present participle of affluere "to flow in, come streaming along, be abundantly present," from ad- ad- + fluere "to flow, run" — more at fluid entry 1


borrowed from French, borrowed from Latin affluent-, affluens "flowing in" — more at affluent entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about affluent

Time Traveler for affluent

Time Traveler

The first known use of affluent was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about affluent

Statistics for affluent

Last Updated

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Affluent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for affluent


af·​flu·​ent | \ ˈa-ˌflü-ənt How to pronounce affluent (audio) \

Kids Definition of affluent

: having plenty of money and expensive things : wealthy an affluent family

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on affluent

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Original Meanings Quiz

  • rembrandt painting a young scholar and his tutor
  • Which of the following is the earliest known sense of the word awe?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!