verb bur·geon \ˈbər-jən\
variants: or less commonly

Definition of burgeon

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1a :  to send forth new growth (such as buds or branches) :  sproutb :  bloom when the flame trees and jacaranda are burgeoning — Alan Carmichael

  3. 2 :  to grow and expand rapidly :  flourish The market for her work has burgeoned in recent years. tiny events which burgeon into national alarums — Herman Wouk

burgeon was our Word of the Day on 06/08/2013. Hear the podcast!

Examples of burgeon in a sentence

  1. The market for collectibles has burgeoned in recent years.

  2. the trout population in the stream is burgeoning now that the water is clean

Did You Know?

Burgeon comes from the Middle English word burjonen, which is from Anglo-French burjuner; both mean "to bud or sprout." "Burgeon" is often used figuratively, as when P.G. Wodehouse used it in 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.

Origin and Etymology of burgeon

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

BURGEON Defined for English Language Learners


verb bur·geon \ˈbər-jən\

Definition of burgeon for English Language Learners

  • : to grow or develop quickly

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up burgeon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


feeling or affected by lethargy

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • ludwig-richter-spring-has-arrived
  • Which is a synonym of upbraid?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.