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flam·​boy·​ant flam-ˈbȯi-ənt How to pronounce flamboyant (audio)
: marked by or given to strikingly elaborate or colorful display or behavior
a flamboyant performer
often capitalized : characterized by waving curves suggesting flames
flamboyant tracery
flamboyant architecture
flamboyantly adverb


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Did you know?

Flamboyant, which was borrowed into English from French in the 19th century, can be traced back to Old French flambe, meaning "flame." In its earliest uses flamboyant referred to a style of architecture, often in the florid French Gothic style, which featured waving curves that suggested flames. Eventually, the word developed a more general second sense for anything eye-catching or showy. And of course, Old French flambe is also the origin of the English adjective flambé.

Example Sentences

Adjective Crazy artists, or flamboyant ones, can be strangely comforting. We feel we understand where their visions come from; we're lulled by the symmetry of turbulent art and turbulent lives. Stephen Schiff, New Yorker, 28 Dec. 1992–4 Jan. 1993
Equally flamboyant is the group's singer, Andy Bell, who prances around the stage dressed at various times like an astronaut, a space creature or a Mexican senorita. Jim Farber, Video Review, August 1990
… he was living in the flamboyant, urbane manner he craved, in an apartment that suited his Balzacian fantasies of success … Raymond Sokolov, Wayward Reporter, 1980
the flamboyant gestures of the conductor has a gallery of flamboyant gestures that makes him easy to imitate
Recent Examples on the Web
The limelight follows him from his flamboyant personality and accomplishments in sports, including a 27-6 record at his previous coaching job at Jackson State. Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY, 17 Apr. 2023 USAir’s conservative business style is a sharp contrast to the flamboyant PSA. Merrie Monteagudo, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Apr. 2023 Another case opened against the politically conservative but stylistically flamboyant former president in 2013 accused him of having accepted millions of dollars from Libyan dictator Moammar Kadafi to illegally finance his 2007 campaign. Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times, 31 Mar. 2023 Except for a rather goofy rendition of British accents, actor Phil Morris’s narration dovetails perfectly with Smith’s flamboyant style. Katherine A. Powers, Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2022 The Design District, an enclave of luxury brands and art museums encased in flamboyant architecture, is their new home base, with three restaurants in a three-block radius. Julia Moskin, New York Times, 1 Nov. 2022 When Democratic nominee for governor Chris Bell received a $1 million check from flamboyant Houston plaintiffs’ lawyer John O’Quinn about a month before the 2006 general election, then-Gov. Dallas News, 14 Oct. 2022 The first-term California senator was a blunt and flamboyant liberal, but now he was confined to a wheelchair and had trouble with words. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 27 Apr. 2023 The Paganos tapped Argentine artist Falopapas to paint KAO’s flamboyant facade and murals inside the dining room, which include New York-style graffiti and celebrity portraits of soccer icon Diego Maradona, writer Jorge Luis Borges and NBA champion Manu Ginóbili. Phillip Valys, Sun Sentinel, 8 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flamboyant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Adjective and Noun

French, from present participle of flamboyer to flame, from Old French, from flambe

First Known Use


1832, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1879, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of flamboyant was in 1832


Dictionary Entries Near flamboyant

Cite this Entry

“Flamboyant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flamboyant. Accessed 30 May. 2023.

Kids Definition


: tending to make a striking display : showy
flamboyantly adverb

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