flourish

verb
flour·​ish | \ ˈflər-ish How to pronounce flourish (audio) , ˈflə-rish\
flourished; flourishing; flourishes

Definition of flourish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to grow luxuriantly : thrive
2a : to achieve success : prosper a flourishing business
b : to be in a state of activity or production flourished around 1850
c : to reach a height of development or influence The company flourished with record profits under the new owner.
3 : to make bold and sweeping gestures

transitive verb

: to wield with dramatic gestures : brandish Dressed as a pirate, he entered the stage flourishing his sword.

flourish

noun

Definition of flourish (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of brandishing or waving
2a : a florid bit of speech or writing rhetorical flourishes
b : an ornamental stroke in writing or printing
c : a decorative or finishing detail a house with clever little flourishes
3 : fanfare
4a : a period of thriving
b : a luxuriant growth or profusion a flourish of white hair a springtime flourish of color
5 : showiness in the doing of something opened the door with a flourish
6 : a sudden burst a flourish of activity

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from flourish

Verb

flourisher noun

Synonyms for flourish

Synonyms: Verb

burgeon (also bourgeon), prosper, thrive

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for flourish

Verb

swing, wave, flourish, brandish, thrash mean to wield or cause to move to and fro or up and down. swing implies regular or uniform movement. swing the rope back and forth wave usually implies smooth or continuous motion. waving the flag flourish suggests vigorous, ostentatious, graceful movement. flourished the winning lottery ticket brandish implies threatening or menacing motion. brandishing a knife thrash suggests vigorous, abrupt, violent movement. an infant thrashing his arms about

Examples of flourish in a Sentence

Verb

plants and animals that flourished here thousands of years ago Regional markets have flourished in recent years. a decorative style that flourished in the 1920s Dressed as a pirate, he entered the stage flourishing his sword.

Noun

the floral flourishes in the living room a house with many clever little flourishes Her writing style is simple and clear, without unnecessary flourishes. Dinner was served with a flourish. He waved his sword with a flourish. She opened the door with a flourish. With a flourish of her pen, she signed the bill into law.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As the years passed and Paul's career continued to flourish, the couple welcomed two children: son Jack Sullivan in 2004, and daughter Darby in 2009. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "A Rare Look Inside Paul Rudd's Nearly 25-Year Relationship With His Wife, Julie Yaeger," 25 Apr. 2019 UConn continues to flourish in the NCAA Tournament when playing in the Northeast or Pennsylvania. Doug Feinberg, The Seattle Times, "Dangerfield helps UConn beat UCLA 69-61 in Sweet 16," 29 Mar. 2019 Earrings were twisted into abstract shapes (see Sacai, Acne Studios), and Calderisms continue to flourish. Vogue, "The 7 Biggest Jewelry Trends of the Fall 2019 Season," 15 Mar. 2019 Ainsley Maitland-Niles looks like Arsenal's defensive midfielder of the future and could continue to flourish under the guidance of Toure. SI.com, "Sky Sports Pundit Gary Neville Calls for Arsenal to Make Move for Departing Man City Legend," 14 May 2018 Polanski’s career has continued to flourish despite his exile; his last film, Based on a True Story, even premiered at Cannes last year. Yohana Desta, HWD, "Roman Polanski Thinks the #MeToo Movement Is Just “Mass Hysteria”," 9 May 2018 Prices have since retreated with the American shale industry continuing to flourish, propelling output to record levels. Grant Smith, Houston Chronicle, "OPEC finds supply again outstripping demand," 14 Mar. 2018 Injuries are unavoidable, but the Reds are confident that Castillo will continue to flourish if healthy. John Fay, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati Reds hope Luis Castillo comes up aces," 10 Mar. 2018 One of her first decisions was to transition the brand away from still red wines toward the flourishing champagne sector. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "You Have the Founding Mothers of Champagne to Thank for the Bubbly You Drink Today," 8 Mar. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

While his peers put a premium on trendy flourishes, swoops, and jagged angles, the common thread running through his acclaimed work is minimalism that packs a punch. Spencer Bailey, Town & Country, "David Adjaye's Message to Architects: Stop Building McMansions," 26 Mar. 2019 The early flourishes, though, have more than satiated a wide swath of consumers who aren’t lured by wireless charging or augmented reality. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, "The Big Hangup: Why the Future Is Not Just Your Phone," 12 Jan. 2019 Specifically, in the McCourt, the performance hall whose retractable shell is the signature flourish of the 200,000-square-foot structure’s flexible design. Chloe Malle, Town & Country, "Is the Shed the Defining Arts Institution of a New New York City?," 14 Mar. 2019 With each passing year, however, the superfluous flourishes have been replaced with more subtle and meaningful expressions of her immense talent. Michael Bauer, SFChronicle.com, "Atelier Crenn: SF’s newest 4-star restaurant," 29 June 2018 Next came confident colors and flourishes: a foyer in creamy lacquer, a wall of ocean-blue grass cloth, a swiveling, disco-era brass cocktail table. Vanessa Gregory, ELLE Decor, "A Recently Renovated Mid-Century Home in Knoxville, Tennessee," 7 Feb. 2019 Ruffles and flourishes are happily tailored to order. Cathy Newman, WSJ, "A Chic Scottish Sojourn Among the Manors," 7 Dec. 2018 So many people have watched your career flourish on social media. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Exclusive: Charlotte McKinney's Guess Collection Will Leave You Thirsting For Summer," 4 Feb. 2019 Some of her other decorative flourishes didn’t fare as well: One of the first things Brito e Abreu did was declutter, eliminating Constantina’s velvet curtains, throne-like leather chairs, and some of her larger religious antiquities. Gisela Williams, ELLE Decor, "A Portuguese Family Manor is Transformed Into a Heritage-Rich Island Getaway," 17 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flourish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of flourish

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

circa 1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for flourish

Verb and Noun

Middle English florisshen, from Anglo-French fluriss-, stem of flurir, florir, from Vulgar Latin *florire, alteration of Latin florēre, from flor-, flos flower

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about flourish

Statistics for flourish

Last Updated

25 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flourish

The first known use of flourish was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for flourish

flourish

verb

English Language Learners Definition of flourish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to grow well : to be healthy
: to be very successful : to do very well
: to hold up and show (something) in an excited or proud way

flourish

noun

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

: something that is added as a detail or decoration
: a dramatic or fancy way of doing something
: a sudden smooth movement that is likely to be noticed

flourish

verb
flour·​ish | \ ˈflər-ish How to pronounce flourish (audio) \
flourished; flourishing

Kids Definition of flourish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to grow well : thrive Plants flourish in this rich soil.
2 : to do well : enjoy success This style of art flourished in the 1920s.
3 : to make sweeping movements with He flourished a sword.

flourish

noun

Kids Definition of flourish (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a fancy bit of decoration added to something He added a flourish to his signature.
2 : a sweeping motion She removed her hat with a flourish.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on flourish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flourish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flourish

Spanish Central: Translation of flourish

Nglish: Translation of flourish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flourish for Arabic Speakers

Comments on flourish

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

WORD OF THE DAY

behavior toward others

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!