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.



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

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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 If these risks weren’t enough, the guiding principle that has allowed the semiconductor industry to flourish for a half-century — Moore’s law — appears to be leveling off. Deborah Wince-smith, Forbes, 29 June 2021 But in Buenaventura, a history of state neglect has allowed both to flourish unchecked, according to my academic research in the city. Shauna N Gillooly, The Conversation, 27 May 2021 The company still collects troves of user data and allows apps to flourish on its platform that do the same, albeit in a less flagrant manner than some of its competitors. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 18 May 2021 Environmentalist and author Ashish Kothari discusses some of the principles of sustainability that have allowed these societies to flourish. Laura Helmuth, Scientific American, 10 May 2021 The Chronicle has previously reported on the Justice Department’s lack of direct oversight of immigration judges and opaque complaint system that allows bad behavior to flourish. Tal Kopan, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Apr. 2021 The society managed to flourish even while tensions over slavery ramped up. Andru Okun, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Mar. 2021 Style matters, and the position allows his creativity and personality to flourish. Patrick Z. Mcgavin, chicagotribune.com, 4 Mar. 2021 And while homegrown talent still can flourish — Boston and Denver being good examples — those teams really are just grooming players who can be matched in a potential deal once a top-tier player becomes available. Dan Woike, Los Angeles Times, 16 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the years following the fall of the Soviet Union, the historian Daniil Kotsyubinsky had hoped to see Russian democracy flourish. Anna Nemtsova, The Atlantic, 16 June 2021 While Jacob sets out to make his American dream flourish with the help of a local eccentric (Will Patton), the arrival of Monica’s unconventional mother Soonja (Youn) throws David’s world into turmoil. Jen Yamato, Los Angeles Times, 25 Apr. 2021 The problem came when Likekele's desire to see Cunningham flourish became a detriment to his own game. Sam Lane, USA TODAY, 10 Mar. 2021 Rahm, a passionate player who was once best known for his fits of temper instead of for his game, closed with a flourish. New York Times, 20 June 2021 Hadley closed with a flourish after sticking his second shot within 8 feet of the cup for another birdie to finish with day’s lowest round. BostonGlobe.com, 11 June 2021 After not playing in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hersey (8-11) is closing this season with another flourish following a slow start. Bob Narang, chicagotribune.com, 28 May 2021 This one came with Maine flourish, prepared with crispy fries, warm lobster, shaved parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs. BostonGlobe.com, 20 May 2021 Among the establishments embracing the moment was the famed Moulin Rouge, which announced its comeback on September 10 with a flourish. Chris O'brien, Forbes, 20 May 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

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

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Learn More About flourish

Time Traveler for flourish

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for flourish

Last Updated

16 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flourish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flourish. Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for flourish



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



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


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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