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

Definition of burgeon

intransitive verb

1a : to send forth new growth (such as buds or branches) : sprout
b : bloom when the flame trees and jacaranda are burgeoning— Alan Carmichael
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

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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.

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 Venture capital has burgeoned in recent years in Singapore, where there are more than 150 funds, 100 incubators and accelerators and 4,000 technology startups. Washington Post, "Singapore’s Startups Weather Turmoil With $10 Billion in Funding," 13 Nov. 2019 Today the franchise has burgeoned into a $7 billion sports media business with 756 athletes from around the world and ten titleholders, two of whom are from Africa. Chidinma Irene Nwoye, Quartz Africa, "One of the world’s fastest-growing sports is building its brand around these Nigerian stars," 2 Nov. 2019 Second, Saudi Arabia has a burgeoning, youthful population. The Economist, "Aramco is both the oil sector’s Goliath and a firm vexed by problems," 31 Oct. 2019 As marijuana became legal in a growing number of states, a new area of entrepreneurship burgeoned. Matt Richtel, New York Times, "Marijuana and Vaping: Shadowy Past, Dangerous Present," 21 Oct. 2019 And the lands around the parks are burgeoning with growth, due in large part to their beauty and the accessibility of recreation. Nick Mott, Outside Online, "Who Owns the Wild: Grizzlies or Humans?," 3 Oct. 2019 Part of the reason for Microsoft’s resurgence is its burgeoning, and seemingly stable, cloud-services business. Mike Murphy, Quartz, "Microsoft is coming for Amazon’s cloud crown," 18 July 2019 But, really, the point of the EDIF grant is to improve the city’s burgeoning IT and cybersecurity industries — that is, their ecosystems. Greg Jefferson, ExpressNews.com, "Jefferson: Economic development — or a giveaway of tax dollars?," 7 Nov. 2019 Building on burgeoning microneedle technology, the needles on this device separate from their backing within a minute and stay embedded beneath the skin, releasing hormones for over a month. Claire Bugos, Smithsonian, "Will Microneedle Patches Be the Future of Birth Control?," 6 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'burgeon.' 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 burgeon

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

History and Etymology for burgeon

Middle English burjonen, from Anglo-French burjuner, from burjun bud, from Vulgar Latin *burrion-, burrio, from Late Latin burra fluff, shaggy cloth

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Time Traveler for burgeon

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

26 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Burgeon.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/burgeoned. Accessed 5 December 2019.

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More Definitions for burgeon


How to pronounce burgeon (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of burgeon

formal : to grow or develop quickly

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More from Merriam-Webster on burgeon

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for burgeon

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with burgeon

Spanish Central: Translation of burgeon

Nglish: Translation of burgeon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of burgeon for Arabic Speakers

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