\ ˈfler How to pronounce flair (audio) \

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 Erica Petrocelli offered fine flair as a no-nonsense Musetta, the opera’s other formidable woman. Los Angeles Times, "Review: For an embattled L.A. Opera, a ‘La Bohème’ that points the way forward," 15 Sep. 2019 For a fraction of a second on Saturday, Mitchell looked the part, pulling down his third touchdown reception with flair and intent in the corner of the end zone during FAU’s 41-31 win over Ball State at Scheumann Stadium. Rich Torres, sun-sentinel.com, "John Mitchell (3 TDs) keys Owls’ passing game vs. Ball State," 14 Sep. 2019 Ingenuity returned to the Giants’ rotation Tuesday night, along with stylistic flair and a sense of theater. Bruce Jenkins, SFChronicle.com, "Cueto returns, and it’s as if he never left," 10 Sep. 2019 This season, sleeves are all about flair and flamboyance! Dominique Hobdy, Essence, "Bring The Drama With These Extravagantly Sleeved Tops," 4 Sep. 2019 The outgoing leader had revived the party's fortunes in Scotland, touring the country with charismatic flair and energy. Rob Picheta, CNN, "Backlash against Boris Johnson's decision to suspend Parliament before Brexit," 29 Aug. 2019 Lover signifies a return to Swift's Red era of devastatingly emotional ballads, with 1989's pop-y flair and glimpses of Reputation's razor-sharp wit. Vogue, "A Listening Guide to Lover, Based on Your 9 Favorite Taylor Swift Songs," 23 Aug. 2019 Cincinnati's loss wasn't without its encouraging moments and flair. Pat Brennan, Cincinnati.com, "FC Cincinnati loses Ron Jans' debut match at Nippert Stadium to New York City FC, 4-1," 17 Aug. 2019 But again, this seemingly ridiculous detail is presented without any joy or flair. Noah Berlatsky, The Verge, "Netflix’s Wu Assassins series lacks the Hong Kong cinema magic," 8 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for flair

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for flair

The first known use of flair was in 1881

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More Definitions for flair


How to pronounce flair (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of flair

: a natural ability to do something
: an unusual and appealing quality or style


\ ˈfler How to pronounce flair (audio) \

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flair

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flair

Spanish Central: Translation of flair

Nglish: Translation of flair for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flair for Arabic Speakers

Comments on flair

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


not being in agreement or harmony

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