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

Essential Meaning of flourish

1 : to grow well : to be healthy plants and animals that flourished here thousands of years ago
2 : to be very successful : to do very well Regional markets have flourished in recent years. a decorative style that flourished in the 1920s a flourishing business
3 : to hold up and show (something) in an excited or proud way Dressed as a pirate, he entered the stage flourishing his sword.

Full 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.



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

Other Words from flourish


flourisher noun

Synonyms for flourish

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for flourish


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The particular strain of MRSA that colonized the hedgehogs, known as mecC-MRSA, later found its way to dairy cows in rural areas where both creatures flourish, and eventually to humans. New York Times, 5 Jan. 2022 City officials and developers have ambitions of turning downtown into more of a neighborhood, a hub of commerce but also a place where a community can flourish. Arkansas Online, 2 Jan. 2022 By exercising your conflict muscle, adopting a healthy mindset, and ditching the habit of blaming, your conflict resolution skills can grow and flourish. Anna Shields, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 But a closer look at the individual wishes reveals a rich picture of day-to-day lives – including reminders that genuine happiness can flourish in hard times. Stephen Humphries, The Christian Science Monitor, 21 Dec. 2021 But eventually the Bears need a team that can flourish consistently in big moments and pivotal games. Dan Wiederer, chicagotribune.com, 1 Nov. 2021 Both played for iconic franchises but want to show the rank-and-file players that their careers can flourish in media beyond the playing days. Chris Bumbaca, USA TODAY, 27 Oct. 2021 History has shown that ideas are powerful — good ideas, if understood and embraced, have the power to unite, liberate, and help people flourish. Lindsay Craig, National Review, 31 Dec. 2021 All entrepreneurial ecosystems need a ready supply of talent to flourish. Philip Salter, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Extinction has no dramatic flourish—no final explosion or last gasp—to signal a lost cause’s conclusion. Marion Renault, The New Republic, 20 Dec. 2021 Badreddine has made an appealing walk-through video with a special flourish — a ballerina in a gauzy white skirt. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, 13 Nov. 2021 That bleak scenario goes hand in hand with another science-fiction flourish -- a device that allows people to recover and vividly relive old memories, offering a comforting glimpse of better times to those experiencing this hellish vision. Brian Lowry, CNN, 19 Aug. 2021 Next to be treated to Murphy's dramatic flourish: infamous '70s nightclub Studio 54. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 13 Aug. 2021 The flourish: a plump ball of creamy burrata cheese. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, 1 July 2021 These groups have a certain flourish—who wouldn’t want to be a part of something named the Loyal Order of the Moose or the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 28 May 2021 So that puts more pressure on the defense, and the Jazz flourish by creating mismatches or taking advantage of defenses overhelping. Gary Washburn, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Mar. 2021 Hooks finished the first quarter with a flourish, canning 3-pointer and then driving the length of the floor to put in a layup just before the horn to give the Bobcats a 14-13 lead. cleveland, 10 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of flourish


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


circa 1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for flourish


Middle English florisshen "to put forth flowers, bloom, grow luxuriantly, prosper, brandish (a weapon)," borrowed from Anglo-French floriss-, stem of florir, flurir "to bloom, grow abundantly, thrive," going back to Vulgar Latin *flōrīre, restructuring of Latin flōrēscere "to begin to flower, increase in vigor," inchoative derivative of flōrēre "to bloom, prosper, be at the peak of one's powers," stative verbal derivative of flōr-, flōs flower entry 1


derivative of flourish entry 1

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Time Traveler for flourish

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near flourish

flour gravy



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Statistics for flourish

Last Updated

17 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flourish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flourish. Accessed 26 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for flourish


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.



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.

More from Merriam-Webster on flourish

Nglish: Translation of flourish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flourish for Arabic Speakers


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