flair

noun

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 flairBruce Minorgan

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 is derived from the Old French verb flairier ("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.

Example Sentences

a restaurant with a European flair a person with a flair for making friends quickly
Recent Examples on the Web Based on Perfect Moment’s hero item, the Chamonix II is now updated with BOSS’s iconic color palette while retaining all of the Alpine flair and performance. Maverick Li, Men's Health, 26 Jan. 2023 But the balloon sleeves and oversize fit give it the feminine modern flair Catherine Holstein is known for. Tara Gonzalez, Harper's BAZAAR, 9 Jan. 2023 The posts tend to have the titles of grad school papers and the editorial flair of instruction manuals. Jordan Teicher, New York Times, 7 Jan. 2023 The bike’s also been fitted with an angular cowling, which all but rids it of any of the original’s retro flair. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 9 Dec. 2022 Elton John partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue on a curated holiday shopping collection to benefit the AIDS Foundation Rocket Fund, and this Burberry belt was one of over 300 stunning gifts that reflect the flair of the storied musician. Madison Yauger, Peoplemag, 7 Dec. 2022 So, dig in, eat away your annoyances, and let the folkish flair inspire a change of heart. Tim Moffatt, EW.com, 23 Nov. 2022 The flair and poignancy of the scene is typical of director Angelisa Gillyard’s production, which boasts a strong cast — including the magnetic and golden-voiced Kalen Robinson as Ti Moune — and apt choreography by Maurice Johnson. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 24 Oct. 2022 Waiters lined up to serve and remove each dish in synchronicity, adding a flair of elegance to the whole affair. Charles Trepany, USA TODAY, 14 Oct. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of flair was in 1881

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Dictionary Entries Near flair

Cite this Entry

“Flair.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flair. Accessed 30 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

flair

noun
ˈfla(ə)r How to pronounce flair (audio)
ˈfle(ə)r
: natural ability

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