\ 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

Questions of playing style and attacking flair were secondary. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Manchester City and the Decade That Changed the Premier League," 1 Sep. 2018 Now, it has been announced that the building will make its dramatic return in September 2019, complete with a design that aims to recreate signature rooms from the original, and bring back some of its modernist flair. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "Tokyo’s iconic Hotel Okura to reopen in 2019 after renovations," 13 July 2018 The Suspiria actress, who was also a jury member at the festival, paired the look with simple gold heeled sandals, adding a twist of throwback flair. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "First Emrata, Now Dakota Johnson Is Taking This Ukrainian Label to the Red Carpet," 3 Dec. 2018 One-pieces are still huge this year — but add a bit of flair with tie-up laces or low scoop backs. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, "35 swimsuits that'll keep you on-trend this summer," 28 June 2018 Restaurants featuring fare from around the world give this quadrant of the West Ridge neighborhood plenty of culinary flair. Griffin Jackson, chicagotribune.com, "The most diverse street in America? Find color, culture, connectedness on Devon Avenue," 28 June 2018 Wan adds welcome flair via brief moments of comedy — a Magic Mike-worthy flex here, or a Beyoncé-like hair toss there, to lighten the mood. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "Aquaman goes for broke and lands somewhere between overstuffed marine opera and cheesy comic book fun," 11 Dec. 2018 On this go-around, he's added some '90s flair with a little help from boy band Hansen for a cheery multi-generational collab. Natalie Maher, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Best New Christmas Songs of 2018," 12 Nov. 2018 The rendition started off well: Smith was hitting all the notes and adding some personal flair to the show. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'The Voice' Singer Colton Smith Narrowly Escapes Elimination After Flubbed Performance," 6 Nov. 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





Statistics for flair

Last Updated

20 Jan 2019

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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More from Merriam-Webster on flair

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flair

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flair

Spanish Central: Translation of flair

Nglish: Translation of flair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flair for Arabic Speakers

Comments on flair

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to settle judicially or to act as judge

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