flor·​id | \ ˈflȯr-əd How to pronounce florid (audio) , ˈflär- \

Definition of florid

1a : very flowery in style : ornate florid prose florid declamations also : having a florid style a florid writer
b : elaborately decorated a florid interior
c obsolete : covered with flowers
2a : tinged with red : ruddy a florid complexion
b : marked by emotional or sexual fervor a florid secret life a florid sensibility
3 : fully developed : manifesting a complete and typical clinical syndrome the florid stage of a disease
4 archaic : healthy

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Other Words from florid

floridity \ flə-​ˈri-​də-​tē How to pronounce floridity (audio) , flȯ-​ \ noun
floridly \ ˈflȯr-​əd-​lē How to pronounce floridly (audio) , ˈflär-​ \ adverb
floridness \ ˈflȯr-​əd-​nəs How to pronounce floridness (audio) , ˈflär-​ \ noun

Did You Know?

When it first entered English "florid" was used with the literal meaning "covered with flowers." That use, though now obsolete, hints at the word's history. English speakers borrowed "florid" from the Latin adjective floridus ("blooming" or "flowery"), itself from the verb "florēre" ("to bloom"). "Florēre," which in turn comes from a Latin root meaning "flower," is also an ancestor of the words "flourish" and "florescence" ("a state or period of flourishing"). These days, "florid" can refer to an overblown style in speech, writing, or decoration. As such, its synonyms include "ornate," "rococo," and "overwrought."

Examples of florid in a Sentence

a florid, gilded mirror that took up most of the wall gave a florid speech in honor of the queen's visit
Recent Examples on the Web Where Beanpole is profoundly humanist and disorientingly florid, Closeness—set in Balagov’s hometown of Nalchik in the late 1990s, the period of his childhood—is another sort of tour de force: raw and brutally transgressive. J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books, "My Quarantine: Cannes, Interrupted," 13 May 2020 Few places better reflect the florid diversity of language — and its fragility — than the forests of Brazil. Washington Post, "‘There are no words’: As coronavirus kills Indigenous elders, endangered languages face extinction," 6 Oct. 2020 Like the florid feathers of a male peacock or the shimmer of a soap bubble, these structures are iridescent, shining with different hues depending on the angle they’re viewed from. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, "Glitzy Beetles Use Their Sparkle for Camouflage," 29 Jan. 2020 When the project was unveiled, Gang talked about her admiration for such 1920s landmarks as 450 Sutter St., with its florid terra-cotta bays marching to the sky. John King, SFChronicle.com, "Twisty white Mira tower is dazzling on the skyline, but less so on the ground," 12 July 2020 Stanley is hosting a party on the porch, dancing gleefully, and greeting the Nemsers with a florid grandeur (his default public manner) that belies the truth of the situation. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Shirley,” Reviewed: Josephine Decker’s Furious Melodrama of Shirley Jackson’s Life and Art," 4 June 2020 In Italy, the nation’s civil protection chief, Angelo Borrelli, said almost apologetically at the beginning of the outbreak that the country’s ‘‘very florid, very expansive’’ social life needed to stop. Michael Birnbaum, BostonGlobe.com, "Europe bids adieu to cheek kiss in coronavirus era," 15 May 2020 Simón plays Sancho Panza, the stolid but faintly ridiculous man of common sense, to Davíd’s Don Quixote, the florid and passionate fabulist—except, that is, when the roles are reversed, just like in the original. William Deresiewicz, The Atlantic, "The Special Child," 17 May 2020 The joyfully florid jumble that is the top of the Adolphus. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "100 reasons to love Dallas right now: A critic’s list of the places that make the city and its architecture special.," 15 May 2020

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

1651, in the meaning defined at sense 1c

History and Etymology for florid

Latin floridus blooming, flowery, from florēre

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Time Traveler for florid

Time Traveler

The first known use of florid was in 1651

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Last Updated

2 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Florid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/florid. Accessed 29 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for florid


How to pronounce florid (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of florid

: very fancy or too fancy
: having a red or reddish color


flor·​id | \ ˈflȯr-əd How to pronounce florid (audio) \

Kids Definition of florid

1 : very fancy or flowery in style florid writing
2 : having a reddish color a florid face


flor·​id | \ ˈflȯr-əd, ˈflär- How to pronounce florid (audio) \

Medical Definition of florid

: fully developed : manifesting a complete and typical clinical syndrome florid hyperplasia

Other Words from florid

floridly adverb

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