bur·​geon ˈbər-jən How to pronounce burgeon (audio)
variants or less commonly bourgeon
burgeoned also bourgeoned; burgeoning also bourgeoning; burgeons also bourgeons

intransitive verb

: to send forth new growth (such as buds or branches) : sprout
: bloom
when the flame trees and jacaranda are burgeoningAlan Carmichael
: to grow and expand rapidly : flourish
The market for her work has burgeoned in recent years.
tiny events which burgeon into national alarumsHerman Wouk

Did you know?

Burgeon first appeared in Middle English as burjonen—a borrowing from the Anglo-French burjuner, meaning "to bud or sprout." Burgeon is often used figuratively, as when writer P. G. Wodehouse used it in the 1946 novel Joy in the Morning: "I weighed this. It sounded promising. Hope began to burgeon." Usage commentators have objected to the use of burgeon to mean "to flourish" or "to grow rapidly," insisting that any figurative use should stay true to the word's earliest literal meaning and distinguish budding or sprouting from subsequent growing. But the sense of burgeon that indicates growing or expanding and prospering (as in "the burgeoning music scene" or "the burgeoning international market") has been in established use for decades and is, in fact, the most common use of burgeon today.

Examples of burgeon in a Sentence

The market for collectibles has burgeoned in recent years. the trout population in the stream is burgeoning now that the water is clean
Recent Examples on the Web Biden and his surrogates headlined multiple fundraisers, racking up more cash to add to the campaign’s burgeoning coffer of $155 million, according to the latest finance reports. Faith E. Pinho, Los Angeles Times, 4 Apr. 2024 Sean 'Diddy' Combs' 7 Kids: Everything to Know Niko, for his part, has followed his mom’s footsteps in the hip-hop industry as a burgeoning rapper. Rebecca Aizin, Peoplemag, 3 Apr. 2024 In an effort to keep pace with the burgeoning suburbs, Phoenix extended its reach beyond Bell Road in the north and all the way to Scottsdale Road in the east. Arizona Republic, The Arizona Republic, 1 Apr. 2024 Soaring costs have delayed construction of an extension of the streetcar line to Kansas City’s burgeoning riverfront. Mike Hendricks, Kansas City Star, 30 Mar. 2024 The inherent scarcity and exclusivity endowed by NFTs create a sense of value, attracting individuals looking to diversify their portfolios and explore the burgeoning realm of digital art and collectibles. Kyle Russell, Journal Sentinel, 28 Mar. 2024 She gamely plays the part of the glamorous burgeoning pop star, in a fur-print puffer jacket, bra top and mismatched gold hoops that complement the edginess of her eyebrow slit. Heran Mamo, Billboard, 28 Mar. 2024 Alongside his lifelong friend and songwriter partner, Robert Hunter, the duo were fixtures in the San Francisco music/art scene of the burgeoning 1960s counterculture. Garret K. Woodward, Rolling Stone, 28 Mar. 2024 Against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1960s, Doda became a lightning rod for controversy when her performance at the Condor Night Club helped transform the North Beach section of San Francisco into ground zero for the burgeoning strip club industry. Todd Gilchrist, Variety, 22 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'burgeon.' 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 burjonen, from Anglo-French burjuner, from burjun bud, from Vulgar Latin *burrion-, burrio, from Late Latin burra fluff, shaggy cloth

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of burgeon was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near burgeon

Cite this Entry

“Burgeon.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burgeon. Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


bur·​geon ˈbər-jən How to pronounce burgeon (audio)
: to put forth new growth (as buds)

More from Merriam-Webster on burgeon

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