\ ˈfler \

Definition of flair 

1 : a skill or instinctive ability to appreciate or make good use of something : talent a flair for color also : inclination, tendency a flair for the dramatic

2 : a uniquely attractive quality : style fashionable dresses with a flair all their own Montreal is a city noted for its … European flair —Bruce Minorgan

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Did You Know?

In the 14th century, if someone told you that you had flair (or flayre as it was then commonly spelled), you might very well take offense! This is because in Middle English flayre meant "an odor." The word derived from the Old French verb flairer ("to give off an odor"), which came in turn from Late Latin flagrare, itself an alteration of fragrare. (The English words fragrant and fragrance also derive from fragrare.) The "odor" sense of flair fell out of use, but in the 19th century English speakers once again borrowed flair from the French-this time (influenced by the Modern French use of the word for the sense of smell) to indicate a discriminating sense or instinctive discernment.

Examples of flair in a Sentence

a restaurant with a European flair a person with a flair for making friends quickly

Recent Examples on the Web

The Miami Dolphins on Thursday released photos of four soccer kit designs that have a Dolphins flair ahead of this weekend’s finals. Jordan Mcpherson, miamiherald, "What would Miami Dolphins-themed soccer kits look like? Here’s a look," 13 July 2018 Holy Ground, adjacent to it, is all about meat, mostly smoked, and served with more grace and flair than at your typical barbecue joint: Kurobuta pork shoulder is pulled tableside. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Stir, in Philadelphia Museum of Art, Prepares for October Opening," 10 July 2018 For legal scholars and GOP donors alike, the pick was predictable, noticeably lacking Trump’s flair for the unconventional on issues such as trade and foreign policy. Abby Vesoulis, Time, "Legal Experts Say President Trump's Supreme Court Pick Reflects GOP Mainstream," 10 July 2018 Big Gigantic's saxophone line lends an air of the spy to the tune, while Collie Buddz provides Bermudian flair. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Snails, Big Gigantic & Collie Buddz 'Feel the Vibe' of Inspiration: Watch," 10 July 2018 But dictatorships are rubbish at football, which requires more creativity and flair. The Economist, "For all its faults, the World Cup in Russia is worth celebrating," 9 June 2018 In possession of a strange and stilted squad, comprised of ageing has-been's and promising but unpredictable youngsters, France impressed with their flair before respectably succumbing to Germany. SI.com, "Why Didier Deschamps Is Still a Problem Regardless of Leading France to the World Cup Final," 12 July 2018 Elkins will continue to add her own flair to the Harold's menu with each new season. Houston Chronicle, "Harold’s gets new executive chef," 9 July 2018 And the front row followed suit this season, as stars from Ashley Graham to Vanessa Paradis stepped out in directional pieces with their own flair. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Naomi Campbell, Ashley Graham, and More of the Best Dressed at the Paris Couture Shows," 6 July 2018

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

1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for flair

French, literally, sense of smell, from Old French, odor, from flairier to give off an odor, from Late Latin flagrare, alteration of Latin fragrare

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Dictionary Entries near flair



flail tank





Phrases Related to flair

tempers flare

Statistics for flair

Last Updated

18 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flair

The first known use of flair was in 1881

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More Definitions for flair



English Language Learners Definition of flair

: a natural ability to do something

: an unusual and appealing quality or style


\ ˈfler \

Kids Definition of flair

1 : natural ability She has a flair for acting.

2 : style entry 1 sense 4 a dress with flair

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Comments on flair

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alleviating pain or harshness

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