fla·​neur | \ flä-ˈnər How to pronounce flaneur (audio) \
variants: or less commonly flâneur

Definition of flaneur

: an idle man-about-town

Examples of flaneur in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In my conception, to visit Wikipedia was to be a flaneur, wandering unharmed from interesting edifice to interesting edifice. Noam Cohen, Wired, "Wikipedia's Biggest Challenge Awaits in 2021," 4 Jan. 2021 How a Person Became a User — which imagines the lurker as a kind of twenty-first century flaneur — Adrian Daub writes that now, in the Age of the Virus, many of us, the inessential us, have become real-life lurkers. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "This Week in Books: A B-Movie Storytelling Moment," 14 Apr. 2020 Just as the nineteenth-century flaneur gets intoxicated on a strange mix of empathy and detachment, the lurker sees their historic moment by being above it and very much ensconced in it. Adrian Daub, The New Republic, "The Rise of the Lurker," 13 Apr. 2020 But there are still ways to be on the move, whether it’s Parisians, who can be flaneurs on their city streets again, or Americans, who are taking to their backyards for campouts. Susan Seubert, National Geographic, "Backyard camping and other ways to fire up wanderlust at home," 13 May 2020 Benfey strolls through Kipling’s American years with the sensibility of a flaneur, pausing here over particular points of interest, turning back there for another look. Maya Jasanoff, The New Republic, "Rudyard Kipling, American Imperialist," 22 Aug. 2019 At the end of the nineteenth century, the aviator was the flaneur of the firmament, and a trip in a hot-air balloon was seen to be just as health-giving as a hotel in the mountains. María Gainza, Harper's magazine, "Both Sides Now," 10 May 2019 But his flaneur’s approach to life and style is best embodied on the back of his favorite vest. Matt Goulet, Esquire, "A Century of Style," 18 Sep. 2017 On weekdays, trains occasionally adopt the freewheeling mien of the flaneur. Henry Grabar, Slate Magazine, "The Subway That Warps Space and Time," 23 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flaneur.' 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 flaneur

1854, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flaneur

French flâneur

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Time Traveler for flaneur Time Traveler

The first known use of flaneur was in 1854

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Statistics for flaneur

Last Updated

11 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flaneur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flaneur. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

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