Definition of flair
- fashionable dresses with a flair all their own
- Montreal is a city noted for its … European flair
- —Bruce Minorgan
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
a restaurant with a European flair
a person with a flair for making friends quickly
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.
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.
First Known Use: 1881See Words from the same year
What made you want to look up flair? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Confusing Words—A Quiz