flor·​id | \ˈflȯr-əd, ˈflär-\

Definition of florid 

1a obsolete : covered with flowers

b : very flowery in style : ornate florid prose florid declamations also : having a florid style a florid writer

c : elaborately decorated a florid interior

2a : tinged with red : ruddy a florid complexion

b : marked by emotional or sexual fervor a florid secret life a florid sensibility

3 archaic : healthy

4 : fully developed : manifesting a complete and typical clinical syndrome the florid stage of a disease

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Other Words from florid

floridity \ flə-​ˈri-​də-​tē , flȯ-​ \ noun
floridly \ ˈflȯr-​əd-​lē , ˈflär-​ \ adverb
floridness \ ˈflȯr-​əd-​nəs , 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

The lyrics are florid, the action is sensationalized and psychopathic and the emotional range is operatic. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Terrence Mann Kills It As 'Sweeney Todd' At CT Rep," 26 June 2018 In 2014, Vreeland’s grandson Alexander introduced a perfume house in her honor, giving the fragrances hyperbolic names in the style of her florid prose. New York Times, "This Summer, Smell Like Fruit Salad," 2 July 2018 In Spanish home design, the prominence of courtyards, patios, and florid gate designs has been passed down for centuries, Vázquez said. Cassie Owens, Philly.com, "Philadelphia Latinos connect with Caribbean roots through ornate porch gates," 5 July 2018 The vocal writing is similarly evocative; Josephine’s high, florid lines recall Chinese opera, and dissonant harmonies of a lullaby sung by Danny’s mother also seem to come from another world. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "‘An American Soldier’ and ‘Regina’ Reviews: Prejudice and Power," 12 June 2018 Here Weiss’ florid pianism, drummer Fludas’ fat downbeats and bassist Vinsel’s sizable tone made for the most vivid statement of the show. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Pianist Michael Weiss evokes memories of Johnny Griffin," 22 June 2018 More florid metaphors about darkness and light, more irritatingly calm explication, more affirmation that Ford is both creator and prophet of this cruel and ugly world. The Atlantic, "Westworld: Ghost Nation, Revealed," 10 June 2018 Among his most florid attacks was the false allegation that the Obama Administration illegally wiretapped Trump Tower during the election. Massimo Calabresi, Time, "Former Intelligence Chiefs Explain How President Trump Sows Distrust to His Advantage," 31 May 2018 Instead of whiskey, we’d be fueled by a cocktail of righteousness and florid legalese. Chris Colin, Outside Online, "Drawing a Line in the Sand Over River Rights," 30 May 2018

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 1a

History and Etymology for florid

Latin floridus blooming, flowery, from florēre

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Statistics for florid

Last Updated

4 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for florid

The first known use of florid was in 1651

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More Definitions for florid



English Language Learners Definition of florid

: very fancy or too fancy

: having a red or reddish color


flor·​id | \ˈflȯr-əd \

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- \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on florid

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for florid

Spanish Central: Translation of florid

Nglish: Translation of florid for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of florid for Arabic Speakers

Comments on florid

What made you want to look up florid? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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