affluent

1 of 2

adjective

af·​flu·​ent ˈa-(ˌ)flü-ənt How to pronounce affluent (audio)
 also  a-ˈflü-,
 or  ə-
1
: having an abundance of goods or riches : wealthy
affluent families
our affluent society
2
: flowing in abundance
affluent streams
affluent creativity
affluently adverb

affluent

2 of 2

noun

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

Did you know?

Visualize with us: coffers overflowing, a cash flow more than adequate, assets that are fluid. The image conjured is the essence of the word affluent. Based on Latin fluere, meaning "to flow," affluent is all about flow. (The same image is echoed in other fluere descendants, such as confluence, fluctuate, fluid, influence, mellifluous, and superfluous.) The flowing of goods or riches wasn't the word's first purview, however; 16th century print examples of affluent tend to be about the abundance of such intangibles as "goodness" and "spirit." In the 17th century, the flow suggested by affluent varied greatly: streams, poisons, estates, and blood were all described with the word. In modern use, affluent most often describes wealthy people, or places where wealthy people live.

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

Example Sentences

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
More recent articles have pointed out that some highly profitable hospital systems are using poor neighborhoods to generate 340B revenue while investing profits into hospitals in affluent communities. John Michael O'brien, STAT, 31 Oct. 2022 More affluent communities have absorbed the rising cost of water by simply using less. San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Oct. 2022 Latson said the more affluent, predominately White communities seem to be getting prioritized in the storm recovery. Nicquel Terry Ellis, CNN, 5 Oct. 2022 Asthma control is easier to achieve in affluent communities. Talis Shelbourne, jsonline.com, 26 Aug. 2022 The sport has for decades been associated with affluent, white communities mainly on the East Coast. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 19 July 2022 In terms of education, a major difference between students who live in more affluent communities and White, Senior, Sarpong and their fellow graduates, is expectations. Ted Glanzer, Hartford Courant, 16 June 2022 Most 311 requests, the city has acknowledged, have come from affluent communities, particularly on the North Side. Joe Mahr, Chicago Tribune, 15 June 2022 People from more affluent communities, with better schools, services, and amenities, tend to turn out in droves to turn away low-income projects proposed in their zip codes. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 3 June 2022
Noun
Bling Empire, Singapore Social, Shahs of Sunset, and The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives prop up the affluent. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 27 Mar. 2022 Bling Empire, Singapore Social, Shahs of Sunset, and The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives prop up the affluent. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 27 Mar. 2022 Bling Empire, Singapore Social, Shahs of Sunset, and The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives prop up the affluent. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 27 Mar. 2022 Bling Empire, Singapore Social, Shahs of Sunset, and The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives prop up the affluent. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 27 Mar. 2022 Bling Empire, Singapore Social, Shahs of Sunset, and The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives prop up the affluent. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 27 Mar. 2022 Bling Empire, Singapore Social, Shahs of Sunset, and The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives prop up the affluent. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 27 Mar. 2022 Bling Empire, Singapore Social, Shahs of Sunset, and The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives prop up the affluent. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 27 Mar. 2022 Bling Empire, Singapore Social, Shahs of Sunset, and The Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives prop up the affluent. Ineye Komonibo, refinery29.com, 27 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

Noun

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

First Known Use

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1735, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

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Dictionary Entries Near affluent

Cite this Entry

“Affluent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affluent. Accessed 26 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

affluent

adjective

af·​flu·​ent
ˈaf-ˌlü-ənt,
 also  a-ˈflü-,
ə-ˈflü-
: having plenty of money and the things money can buy
affluently adverb

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