\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

Her skirt’s black, triangular strip gave it a more modern flair while her hat’s peekaboo flower added an element of fun. Maura Hohman, PEOPLE.com, "Sister Act! See Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie Match Perfectly on 'Ladies Day' at Royal Ascot," 21 June 2018 Russian President Vladimir Putin has a flair for understated drama. Anna Arutunyan, Time, "No Matter What Happens in Helsinki, Putin Has Already Won," 10 July 2018 But gay groups had a special flair for the theatrical nature of the zap action. Sascha Cohen, Smithsonian, "How Gay Activists Challenged the Politics of Civility," 10 July 2018 Gregory Polanco certainly has a flair for the dramatic in the outfield. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Nine Innings: Solving the Yankees' Sonny Gray Problem, AL East Deciding Factors and Our Favorite Statcast Quirks," 2 July 2018 But the emphasis on serving people already in the area — with thoughtful design that has flair — offers lessons as San Francisco focuses on the district’s public realm. John King, SFChronicle.com, "Civic Center makeover: Here’s the plan to revamp the heart of SF," 29 June 2018 And there's no denying that Apostolina has a real flair for naturalistic dialogue and darkly trenchant humor. F. Kathleen Foley, latimes.com, "In Atwater, a dark secret at the center of 'Forever Bound'," 25 May 2018 After securing graduate transfer signal-callers in back-to-back years with Vernon Adams (2015) and Dakota Prukop (2016), Oregon had a flair for the dramatic recruiting prep quarterbacks in the following two classes. Andrew Nemec, OregonLive.com, "Cale Millen, fast-rising prospect and son of former NFL QB, commits to Oregon Ducks," 6 May 2018 Homan puts his own flair on sculptural robots, fantastic creatures such as gargoyles and dragons or animals such as whales or horses. Laura Latzko, azcentral, "Tempe Festival of the Arts brings music, food, fun to Mill Avenue," 19 Mar. 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



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Statistics for flair

Last Updated

10 Nov 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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by force of circumstances

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