efflorescence

noun

ef·​flo·​res·​cence ˌe-flə-ˈre-sᵊn(t)s How to pronounce efflorescence (audio)
1
a
: the action or process of developing and unfolding as if coming into flower : blossoming
periods of … intellectual and artistic efflorescenceJulian Huxley
b
: an instance of such development
c
: fullness of manifestation : culmination
2
: the period or state of flowering
3
: the process or product of efflorescing chemically
efflorescent adjective

Did you know?

When Edgar Allan Poe spoke of an "efflorescence of language" in The Poetic Principle, he was referring to language that was flowery, or overly rich and colorful. This ties in to the garden roots of efflorescence, a word, like "flourish," that comes from the Latin word for "flower." More commonly, however, "efflorescence" refers to the literal or figurative act of blossoming much like a flower does. You could speak of "the efflorescence of nature in springtime," for example, or "the efflorescence of culture during the Renaissance." "Efflorescence" is also used in chemistry to refer to a process that occurs when something changes to a powder from loss of water of crystallization.

Examples of efflorescence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Such an efflorescence of freedom marked the zenith of liberalism in 1848. James Robins, The New Republic, 8 Aug. 2023 An efflorescence of capitalism at home and overseas followed, and with it the beginnings of a colonial empire. Teju Cole, New York Times, 25 May 2023 The tech challenge has attracted the most attention lately as the sudden efflorescence of generative A.I. tools bends minds and, for some CEOs, induces panic. Geoff Colvin, Fortune, 31 May 2023 The spread of literacy, newfangled methods of production and an almost mystical efflorescence of creativity combined to produce superb and lasting works of picture-book art. Meghan Cox Gurdon, WSJ, 31 Mar. 2023 The latter is an efflorescence of the imagination, often an individual imagination; the former is born of a collective imagining, and is hard-wired to be reborn. Aatish Taseer, New York Times, 16 Feb. 2023 Notably, VRChat has provided a familiar efflorescence of socialization and expression for transgender people exploring their identities for the first time, disabled people who find freedom in VR, and furries and otherkin who’ve built dens for themselves and their kith. Wired, 8 July 2022 The result has been an efflorescence of new words. Andrew Leland, The New Yorker, 12 May 2022 Meanwhile the wine boom has been accompanied by an efflorescence of the culinary scene. Jay McInerney, Town & Country, 24 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of efflorescence was in 1626

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Dictionary Entries Near efflorescence

Cite this Entry

“Efflorescence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/efflorescence. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

Medical Definition

efflorescence

noun
ef·​flo·​res·​cence ˌef-lə-ˈres-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce efflorescence (audio)
1
: the process of efflorescing
also : the powder or crust so formed
2
: a redness of the skin or an eruption (as in a rash)
efflorescent adjective

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