\ ˈflau̇(-ə)r How to pronounce flour (audio) \

Definition of flour

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a product consisting of finely milled wheat also : a similar product made from another grain or food product (such as dried potatoes or fish)
2 : a fine soft powder


floured; flouring; flours

Definition of flour (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to coat with or as if with flour

intransitive verb

: to break up into particles

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Other Words from flour


flourless adjective
floury \ ˈflau̇(-​ə)r-​ē How to pronounce flour (audio) \ adjective

Examples of flour in a Sentence

Noun a five-pound bag of flour mix the two flours together Verb The fish should be lightly floured before it's fried.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The subcommittee in February found Beech-Nut had used ingredients that tested as high as 913.4 parts per billion, and Gerber used batches of rice flour that tested over 90 parts per billion. Taylor Avery, USA TODAY, 1 Oct. 2021 Mesquite pods were a food source for centuries for Indigenous people in the Southwest, who ground them into flour. Andi Berlin, The Arizona Republic, 12 Sep. 2021 To digest cereal grains like wheat, humans first have to remove husks and turn grain into flour. Virginia Postrel, Star Tribune, 20 Mar. 2021 For the Pastry: Cut the shortening into the flour and salt with a pastry cutter. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 10 Feb. 2021 Salmonella and harmful strains of E. coli can creep into flour when the wheat used to make it has been contaminated in the field, or during processing in the factory. New York Times, 17 Dec. 2020 Pulse ½ cup of the oats in a food processor until ground into a flour. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, 31 May 2020 To make it, cornmeal is cooked into a porridge, molasses is stirred in, and then yeast and flour are added. Jessica Battilana, San Francisco Chronicle, 1 Oct. 2021 Fresh bagels can be prepared simply from flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and water. Cynthia Sass, Rd, Health.com, 22 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a jellyroll pan measuring about 10x15 inches. Claire Ballor, Dallas News, 30 Sep. 2021 Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Kate Krader, Fortune, 26 Sep. 2021 Now, either flour a work surface and knead the dough by hand, or attach the dough hook and knead in the stand mixer. Washington Post, 1 Feb. 2021 Lightly re-flour your hands, the work surface, and the dough as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Time, 12 Aug. 2021 Line 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, then butter and flour it. Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, 28 July 2021 Generously grease and flour a 9- by 3-inch loaf pan. Star Tribune, 14 July 2021 Lightly flour a work surface, then turn the dough out onto it. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 1 June 2021 If the cookie is difficult to remove from the mold, very lightly flour the mold before layering in the dough. Beth Segal, cleveland, 7 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flour.' 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 flour


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1657, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for flour


Middle English flour, flur "blossom of a plant, prime of life, best of a class, ground wheat free of bran," borrowed from Anglo-French flour, flur "blossom of a plant, paragon, best part, ground grain free of bran" — more at flower entry 1

Note: In the sense "ground grain free of bran and impurities," Anglo-French flour, flur was presumably originally short for flur de farine, "best part of the milled grain," which is reflected in contemporaneous Medieval Latin flos farinae. The Französisches etymologisches Wörterbuch points out that flur became the ordinary word for "flour" not only in Anglo-French, but also in at least part of medieval Picardy and in isolated areas elsewhere (vol. 3, p. 632). See also W. Rothwell, "From Latin to Anglo-French and Middle English: The Role of the Multilingual Gloss," Modern Language Review, vol. 88, no. 3 (July, 1993), pp. 584-85. In English, consistent distinction in spelling of the two meanings "blossom of a plant" and "finely milled grain" was not made before the eighteenth century. Samuel Johnson's dictionary (1755) still enters both meanings under the single spellling flower.


derivative of flour entry 1

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Buying Guide

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Time Traveler for flour

Time Traveler

The first known use of flour was in the 13th century

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Dictionary Entries Near flour



flour beetle

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Statistics for flour

Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flour.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flour. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for flour



English Language Learners Definition of flour

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: powder made from a grain (especially wheat) that is used in cooking for making bread, cakes, etc.



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

: to cover (something) with flour


\ ˈflau̇r How to pronounce flour (audio) \

Kids Definition of flour

: finely ground wheat or other food product whole wheat flour potato flour

More from Merriam-Webster on flour

Nglish: Translation of flour for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flour for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flour


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