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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This only perpetuates the wide geographic spread between the service jobs that are available in affluent communities and the housing where the workers who fill those jobs can afford to live. Eric Kober For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Our cities don't have enough affordable housing. Changing this policy will help," 6 Jan. 2020 An affluent Baltimore community got an extra day of trash collection each week, the inspector general’s office found, costing the city about $100,000 over the last decade. Talia Richman,, "Inspector General: Affluent Baltimore community received extra trash collection, costing city $100,000," 27 Nov. 2019 Lamont, the state’s current chief executive, is a Democrat and a multimillionaire who owns a mansion in the wealthy town of Greenwich and multiple other properties in affluent communities. Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, ProPublica, "Separated by Design: Why Affordable Housing Is Built in Areas With High Crime, Few Jobs and Struggling Schools," 25 Nov. 2019 Zionsville has pluses — affluent community, new fieldhouse, sophisticated weight training — but that doesn’t explain everything. David Woods, Indianapolis Star, "Zionsville setting pace in Indiana, and not just in girls cross-country," 31 Oct. 2019 Collectively the reforms have allowed the region to avoid some of the problems that plague Greater Cleveland, where affluent communities compete with struggling communities that compete with failing communities. Peter Krouse,, "What can Minnesota teach us about sharing? Cleveland 2030, A Way Forward," 16 Sep. 2019 Allen, located 20 miles north of Dallas, is an affluent community of about 100,000., "Groups March for Tougher Gun Laws After Texas Mass Shooting," 3 Aug. 2019 The series, about five women in an affluent community struggling to keep up appearances — and to cover up a murder — has struggled to reignite the spark of its award-winning first season. Lorraine Ali,, "'Big Little Lies': How Meryl Streep redeems a mediocre season," 14 July 2019 Founded in 2006, the company serves more than 50,000 high net worth clients and several hundred thousand mass-affluent clients -- people who have investible assets between 1 million yuan and 10 million yuan. Fortune, "Chinese Wealth Manager CreditEase Is Said to Seek Fresh Funding," 27 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Until a few years ago, online entertainment was restricted to the urban affluent. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "The secret sauce for Hotstar’s success: exclusive partnerships," 11 Dec. 2019 In his opening remarks, Boston Fed president Eric Rosengren highlighted changes that have split the US economy into two very different pieces: one affluent and growing, one getting poorer., "after losing the Democratic gubernatorial primary," 8 Oct. 2019 Many raised eyebrows at program A New York Times investigation in August found that zones across the country were placed in affluent or up-and-coming areas. Emily Hopkins, Indianapolis Star, "This incentive is supposed to help poor areas. It's aimed at Mass Ave. and Fletcher Place.," 13 Nov. 2019 This fable about two families — one affluent, one impoverished — offers a stunning home, haunting cinematography and plot twists worthy of Alfred Hitchcock. Hal Boedeker,, "Where’s ‘The Irishman’? Is ‘Parasite’ the 'film of the year’?," 3 Nov. 2019 Johannesburg's affluent typically live in large free-standing houses with rolling gardens and swimming pools behind walls with electric fences. Antony Sguazzin,, "Africa’s tallest building will feature a 3-floor penthouse," 25 Sep. 2019 Nearly every member of the school’s affluent, mostly white student body graduates on time, and in 2018 fully 100 percent of 10th-graders scored proficient or higher on the English Language Arts MCAS, the state achievement test., "ada Pierre is tiny, her ambition drawn taut as a bowstring. The 16-year-old daughter of Haitian immigrants wears her hair in a small bun atop her head, her emerging political consciousness finding its voice in the bevy of Black Lives Matter and #MeToo stickers she’s pasted to her MacBook.," 15 Sep. 2019 The Tory party members who elected Johnson earlier this month fit the same profile: white, male, around 55, and middle class and affluent. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "No, Boris Johnson isn’t the UK’s Donald Trump," 25 July 2019 In the past two decades, dozens of affluent, mostly white communities have tried to secede from diverse school districts to form their own. John Eligon,, "Busing worked, so why is Louisville getting more segregated?," 28 July 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for affluent

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

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Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Affluent.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

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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

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Comments on affluent

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to express in a more acceptable way

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