flourish

1 of 2

verb

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

intransitive verb

1
: to grow luxuriantly : thrive
2
a
: 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.
flourisher noun

flourish

2 of 2

noun

1
: an act or instance of brandishing or waving
2
a
: 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
4
a
: 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
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

Example Sentences

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
Policies that allow for corrosive content to flourish are good for business. Time, 13 Jan. 2023 That was followed by the Proterozoic era, when oxygen levels began to rise, and larger and more complex organisms began to flourish. WIRED, 13 Jan. 2023 Drakeo’s career was just beginning to flourish when his life was cut short. Nancy Dillon, Rolling Stone, 12 Jan. 2023 One honey sample from the city contained 411 plant species—diversity that helps urban bees flourish. Kelsey Nowakowski, National Geographic, 12 Jan. 2023 The study began as two independent longitudinal projects, one comprising 268 Harvard sophomores deemed likely to flourish later in life and the other consisting of 456 14-year-old boys growing up in Boston’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Richard J. Mcnally, WSJ, 11 Jan. 2023 Although the Badgers clinched a share of the title at home with the three-point victory over the Boilermakers, their ability to flourish on the road was arguably the No. 1 factor in winning a second title in three seasons under Greg Gard. Jeff Potrykus, Journal Sentinel, 7 Jan. 2023 Although running back Kendre Miller is questionable, Emari Demercado, who averaged 8.8 yards per carry against Michigan, will be able to step into the starting roll and flourish if needed. Dallas News, 7 Jan. 2023 But the XR Elite is targeting a standalone VR / AR market that HTC — as well as Meta, Apple, and other companies — believes will flourish in the coming years. Adi Robertson, The Verge, 5 Jan. 2023
Noun
Houston finishes this forgettable season with a flourish. Los Angeles Times, 6 Jan. 2023 Houston finishes this forgettable season with a flourish. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 6 Jan. 2023 After being canceled past two years, Holiday Bowl returns with a flourish; UNC’s Mack Brown entertains, enlightens; Where are things headed? San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Dec. 2022 Florida failed to finish with a flourish and slipped in the rankings, but Napier and Co. inked a rock-solid class addressing many of the Gators’ laundry list of needs. Orlando Sentinel, 22 Dec. 2022 This workout starts out slowly but ends with a flourish. Mark Barroso Cscs, Men's Health, 8 Dec. 2022 In an impressive display of showmanship, as the Rain band held a note, its director, Kendall Forde, walked all the way across the field to the other side and then, with a flourish, stopped them, not unlike an HBCU band might do. Michelle Matthews | Mmatthews@al.com, al, 7 Dec. 2022 But the Ohio native finished the regular season with a flourish, nailing seven of his past nine kicks. Ryan Black, The Courier-Journal, 26 Nov. 2022 Portland closed the second quarter with a flourish, becoming the latest Dallas opponent to wipe out a double-digit margin, pulling to within 59-57 at halftime. Dallas News, 12 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Verb

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

Noun

derivative of flourish entry 1

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

circa 1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near flourish

Cite this Entry

“Flourish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flourish. Accessed 28 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

flourish

1 of 2 verb
flour·​ish ˈflər-ish How to pronounce flourish (audio)
ˈflə-rish
1
: to grow well : thrive
2
b
: to be active
flourished around 1850
3
: to make bold sweeping gestures
4
: to shake or wave around
flourish a sword

flourish

2 of 2 noun
1
: a fancy bit of decoration added to something (as handwriting)
2
: a sweeping motion
3
4
: a period of thriving
5
: a sudden burst
a flourish of activity

More from Merriam-Webster on flourish

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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