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
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 Tourism and mining flourished, and Zimbabwe was a regional breadbasket. Author: Farai Mutsaka, Christopher Torchia, Anchorage Daily News, "Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean revolutionary who helped liberate and destroy his country, dies at 95," 6 Sep. 2019 Sanchez has flourished with her supporting cast intact. Andrew Turner, Daily Pilot, "High School Female Athlete of the Week: Huntington Beach’s Jaclyn Sanchez built to handle the pressure," 6 Sep. 2019 Municipal swimming pools and urban amusement parks flourished in the 20th century. Victoria W. Wolcott, The Conversation, "The forgotten history of segregated swimming pools and amusement parks," 9 July 2019 Botswana’s elephants have flourished, increasing from 50,000 in 1991 to today’s 130,000. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Elephant Hunting Has Returned to Botswana. But There Is a Way to Stop It.," 6 June 2019 Bogaerts has flourished since signing his new deal and become a Most Valuable Player candidate. Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "Pending free agency: One can only wonder how much it has affected Red Sox this season," 8 Sep. 2019 Private prison companies have flourished since the 1980s, when stricter federal drug laws created the need for more prisoner housing. NBC News, "'An uphill battle': Harvard students urge school to pull investments that support prisons," 3 Sep. 2019 Whitworth and Havenstein bookend the unit at left and right tackle, a pair of pillars around which coach Sean McVay’s flashy offense has flourished. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Rams’ Joe Noteboom, Brian Allen look to make seamless transition to starting roles," 3 Sep. 2019 The Dutch defender got his move to Liverpool at the age of 26 and has flourished. SI.com, "Tyrone Mings: 4 Reasons Why Aston Villa's Defensive Rock Deserves an England Call-Up," 28 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun It’s full of mid-century flourish and expansive spaces. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "Peek into a former sanatorium, French Gothic cathedral and more landmarks at Doors Open Denver," 15 Sep. 2019 However, due to his mesmerising late flourish to the season, Lucas deserves to go from a 82 to a 83. SI.com, "FIFA 20 Ultimate Team: Every Tottenham Player's Predicted Rating," 9 Aug. 2019 Among other flourishes, a glass-encased, multi-story lobby now gives the center strong street-level presence. Frederick Melo, Twin Cities, "Tech company to leave St. Paul and North Loop for downtown Minneapolis after 51 years," 9 Aug. 2019 Some of the linguistics gags, like the faux Elizabethan flourishes, just don’t land. Karen D'souza, The Mercury News, "Review: Outrageous ‘Kiss My Aztec!’ premieres at Berkeley Rep," 8 June 2019 For your accommodations, rooms range from suites to skylight rooms, with each room featuring unique flourishes and decor. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "This 115-Year-Old East Nashville Church Just Reopened as a Boutique Hotel," 7 June 2019 And the royal pomp and flourishes are the extra cherry on top. Julie Washington, cleveland.com, "Royal visit adds pomp to ‘Downton Abbey’ the movie: Review," 17 Sep. 2019 Your attention to detail could make a project flourish. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for Sept. 16, 2019: Happy birthday Alexis Bledel; Gemini, steer clear of the spotlight," 16 Sep. 2019 This is an interesting time for Otto Porter, who just turned 26 years old and is finally starting to show some creative flourish. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2020," 12 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for flourish

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for flourish

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

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More Definitions for flourish


How to pronounce flourish (audio)

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.

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