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


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: a tributary stream
… its meandering stream, one of the smaller affluents of the Sacramento.John Muir
[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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
After the war, Rolex was uniquely poised to supply an increasingly affluent civilian market that wanted futuristic products, and the brand found innovations. Allen Farmelo, Robb Report, 11 May 2024 Nearby, diners enjoyed lunch on a patio tucked under a canopy of trees in this affluent St. Louis suburb. Samantha Liss, CBS News, 9 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for affluent 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'affluent.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1735, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near affluent

Cite this Entry

“Affluent.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


 also  a-ˈflü-,
: having plenty of money and the things money can buy
affluently adverb


Middle English affluent "abundant," derived from Latin ad- "to" and fluere "to flow" — related to fluid

More from Merriam-Webster on affluent

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