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

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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 When Mango House began providing covid vaccines, residents of more affluent areas of town started showing up. Markian Hawryluk,, 23 July 2021 Brabrand, who earns just over $300,000 a year, inherited a 185,000-student school system in one of the most affluent areas in the country and one known for its consistently strong academic performance. Washington Post, 15 July 2021 Chinese billionaire Li Shufu’s Geely launched in March the premium Zeekr brand that targets the same group of affluent EV car buyers that might consider a Nio. Yue Wang, Forbes, 4 June 2021 Bill Magavern, policy director of the Coalition for Clean Air, said Newsom’s plan appropriately puts the emphasis on subsidies for less affluent buyers and programs to clean up diesel exhaust. Dustin Gardiner, San Francisco Chronicle, 3 May 2021 The market for bigger, fancier homes in the New Orleans area is hot, as affluent buyers search for extra space while working remotely and spending more time at home. Anthony Mcauley | Staff Writer,, 25 Jan. 2021 Affluent and ultra-affluent buyers have substantially increased as a percentage of sales since the pandemic began, helping pull up the median prices to record highs for the region as well. Annie Vainshtein,, 9 Dec. 2020 Home sales have surged, especially for affluent buyers and sellers as mortgage rates dropped and urbanites relocated to more-spacious suburbs amid lockdowns. Josh Wingrove,, 14 Oct. 2020 The Grand would gain traction as a status symbol, competing with the Range Rover for affluent 4X4 buyers. Ben Stewart, Popular Mechanics, 9 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Brown, a Democrat from Ohio, argued that the affluent reaped most of the benefits of the 2017 tax overhaul. Matt Egan, CNN, 11 Mar. 2021 Democrats charged that the limited resources have brought a double standard of stricter auditing for low-income people while the affluent can hide earnings and claim dubious deductions to escape their full tax obligations. Marcy Gordon, Star Tribune, 7 Oct. 2020 One answer may be that the rich, including not just billionaires but the ordinary affluent of America, are not in anywhere near as much peril. Libby Watson, The New Republic, 14 Aug. 2020 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,, 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,, 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, 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, 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, 5 Oct. 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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The first known use of affluent was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

30 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Affluent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on affluent

Nglish: Translation of affluent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of affluent for Arabic Speakers


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