flare

noun
\ ˈfler How to pronounce flare (audio) \

Definition of flare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a fire or blaze of light used especially to signal, illuminate, or attract attention also : a device or composition used to produce such a flare The airport set flares to guide the landing plane at night.
2 : an unsteady glaring light
b : solar flare also : a sudden increase and decrease in the brightness of a star often amounting to a difference of several magnitudes (see magnitude sense 3)
3a : a sudden outburst (as of excitement or anger) a flare of tempers in the courtroom
b : flare-up sense 3 a flare of disease
4a : a spreading outward also : a place or part that spreads
b : an area of skin flush a flare of reddened skin
5 : light resulting from reflection (as between lens surfaces) or an effect of this light (such as a fogged or dense area in a photographic negative)
6a : a short pass in football thrown to a back who is running toward the sideline
b : a weakly hit fly ball in baseball a flare into short right field
7 flares plural : pants that flare toward the bottom

flare

verb
flared; flaring

Definition of flare (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a : to burn with an unsteady flame
b : to stream in the wind
2a : to shine with a sudden light a match flares in the darkness
b(1) : to become suddenly excited or angry usually used with up
(2) : to break out or intensify usually suddenly or violently often used with up
c : to express strong emotion (such as anger)
3 : to open or spread outward the pants flare at the bottom

transitive verb

1 : to display conspicuously flaring her scarf to attract attention
2 : to cause to flare the breeze flares the candle
3 : to signal with a flare or by flaring
4 : to burn (a jet of waste gas) in the open air

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Synonyms for flare

Synonyms: Noun

burst, flare-up, flash, flicker, flurry, flutter, outbreak, outburst, spurt

Synonyms: Verb

beat, blaze, burn, flame, glare

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Examples of flare in a Sentence

Noun

the sudden flare of the match When the crew saw flares, they knew the other ship was in trouble.

Verb

pants that flare at the bottom The bull flared its nostrils.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In these cases, patients may find that their vocal changes worsen with a flare-up and then get better, like many symptoms of MS. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Selma Blair Reveals Her MS Led to Spasmodic Dysphonia," 27 Feb. 2019 As far as pimples go, those deep, cystic acne flare-ups are probably the most traumatic. Allure, "How to Treat Cystic Acne, According to Dermatologists," 14 Mar. 2019 These flare-ups elicited apologies from the people implicated. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "In Charged Political Climate, Best Picture Oscar is About More than the Movie," 21 Feb. 2019 Extra points for updating nostalgic silhouettes (like flares) with modern details (like fun prints). Divya Bala, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Nail Statement Style This Winter," 30 Nov. 2018 The touchscreen is the Forma's main attraction, and Kobo didn't add any other design flare to the device. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Kobo Forma review: A formidable opponent for Amazon’s Kindle Oasis," 22 Nov. 2018 But the actress is extra conscious of controlling acne flare-ups. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Sophie Turner Shares Her Date Night Beauty Routine and Top Hair Coloring Tips," 14 Feb. 2019 The lightweight green-to-beige pigments blend into the skin seamlessly—and simultaneously provide enough coverage to hide any seasonal flare-ups. Zoe Ruffner, Vogue, "Say Goodbye to Winter Redness With These 6 CC Creams," 16 Jan. 2019 Symptoms can come and go, and some children may just have one or two flare-ups. Korin Miller, SELF, "Claire Foy on What It Was Like to Have 'Extremely Painful' Juvenile Arthritis," 9 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The problem flared again at last year’s World Cup where team doctors’ new authority to remove players was ignored by Morocco winger Noureddine Amrabat. Graham Dunbar, The Seattle Times, "Soccer’s treatment of head injuries under new scrutiny," 25 Mar. 2019 There’s a pair of sequined flared trousers from P.A.R.O.S.H. going for just under $150 (originally $220), and Paco Rabanne’s silver paillette slides are now 30 percent off. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "The Best Online Black Friday Fashion Deals to Shop From Home," 22 Nov. 2018 Then, after the birth of her baby in 2015, the virus flared. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Ebola mysteriously hid in a woman for more than a year before spreading," 27 July 2018 The immigration fight also flared at the House Appropriations Committee, where the two parties clashed this week over Trump's policy of separating families. CBS News, "Push by liberal Democrats’ to abolish ICE delights GOP," 13 July 2018 Anger at Trump flared again after the London terror attack in June 2017 that left eight people dead and 48 injured. Margaret Hartmann, Daily Intelligencer, "Everything You Need to Know About Trump’s Controversial U.K. Visit," 12 July 2018 Blazars occasionally flare, brightening by factors of 10 or more for periods of minutes to years. Mark Bowen, Scientific American, "Neutrinos on Ice: Astronomers' Long Hunt for Source of Extragalactic "Ghost Particles" Pays Off," 12 July 2018 The controversy over the sign flared up last year when the city cut off access to a Beachwood Drive gate leading to a popular trail near the sign. Ryan Faughnder, latimes.com, "Warner Bros. wants to build a $100-million aerial tramway to the Hollywood sign," 10 July 2018 The Nicaraguan protests flared after Mr. Ortega tried to change the national social security system, reducing future pensions and requiring workers and employers to pay more taxes. Catie Edmondson, New York Times, "U.S. Imposes Sanctions on 3 Top Nicaraguan Officials After Violent Crackdown," 5 July 2018

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

Noun

1580, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1616, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for flare

Noun and Verb

origin unknown

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Learn More about flare

Statistics for flare

Last Updated

4 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flare

The first known use of flare was in 1580

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More Definitions for flare

flare

noun

English Language Learners Definition of flare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a light that shines brightly and briefly
: a very bright light that is used to give a signal, to light up something, or to attract attention also : a device that produces such a light
: a sudden expression of anger

flare

verb

English Language Learners Definition of flare (Entry 2 of 2)

: to shine or burn suddenly and briefly
: to become suddenly excited, angry, or active
: to open or spread outward

flare

verb
\ ˈfler How to pronounce flare (audio) \
flared; flaring

Kids Definition of flare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to burn with an unsteady flame … they watched the fire … flaring through the fog …— Charles Dickens, The Cricket on the Hearth
2 : to shine or burn suddenly or briefly A match flared in the darkness.
3 : to become angry or active She flared up at the remarks. His asthma has flared up.
4 : to spread outward Her nostrils flared.

flare

noun

Kids Definition of flare (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a sudden blaze of light the flare of a match
2 : a blaze of light used to signal, light up something, or attract attention
3 : a device or material used to produce a flare The emergency kit included flares.
4 : a sudden outburst She displayed a flare of anger.
5 : a spreading outward : a part that spreads outward the flare of a skirt
\ ˈfla(ə)r, ˈfle(ə)r How to pronounce flare (audio) \
flared; flaring

Medical Definition of flare

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to break out or intensify rapidly : become suddenly worse or more painful often used with up your gallstones flare up— W. A. Nolen

flare

noun

Medical Definition of flare (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : flare-up Without effective urate lowering, many such patients progress to severe chronic gout characterized by frequent arthritic flares— John S. Sundy et al., The Journal of the American Medical Association, 17 Aug. 2011
2 : an area of skin flush resulting from and spreading out from a local center of vascular dilation and hyperemia urticarial flare
3 : a cloudy or smoky appearance of the fluid of the anterior chamber of the eye that is seen when a beam of light (as from a slit lamp) is passed through it and that is caused by the presence of floating protein material in the fluid which is a symptom of inflammation Flare means that we can actually see the beam of light from the slit lamp traveling through the aqueous humor. This is similar to being able to see the beam of light coming from a movie projector in a dusty room.— Jay B. Lavine, The Eye Care Sourcebook, 2001

called also aqueous flare

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More from Merriam-Webster on flare

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flare

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flare

Spanish Central: Translation of flare

Nglish: Translation of flare for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flare for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flare

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