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 These workers weren’t able to stay home as much as those in more affluent areas of the city. Anna Kuchment, Dallas News, "How Latino residents in Dallas’ hardest hit ZIP code are weathering COVID-19," 11 July 2020 The beachfront mansion in the affluent Tel Aviv suburb of Herzliya is going on the market because most of Ambassador David Friedman’s day-to-day activities are based at the embassy in Jerusalem, the State Department said. Washington Post, "After embassy move, U.S. to sell envoy’s house near Tel Aviv," 30 June 2020 My roommate was white and from an affluent suburb of Detroit, but our obsession with police movies instantly bonded us. Jordan Calhoun, The Atlantic, "Saying Goodbye to Law & Order," 28 June 2020 The affluent Milwaukee suburb has had multiple protests in support of Black Lives Matter., "See the more than 45 communities in Wisconsin that have had protests against police brutality and racial inequality," 27 June 2020 This is called climate gentrification in which communities are being cleared out because of climate impacts and then more affluent people buy up the property and rebuild the city. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, ""Two different realities": Why America needs environmental justice," 12 June 2020 Everset had to hire extra employees in order to cater to a new genre of customer—affluent people who left New York for the suburbs and nearby rural enclaves and want a no-hassle furniture set delivered. Kate Knibbs, Wired, "The Pandemic Is Transforming the Rental Economy," 8 June 2020 In 1921, a race riot erupted in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as white mobs began looting and leveling the affluent black district of Greenwood over reports a black man had assaulted a white woman in an elevator; hundreds are believed to have died., "This day in history," 31 May 2020 Critics argue that would redistribute dollars from low-income children to their more affluent peers in public and private schools alike. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin schools to see more than $200 million in COVID-19 relief fund," 11 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.

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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

29 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

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