1 of 2


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


2 of 2


floured; flouring; flours

transitive verb

: to coat with or as if with flour

intransitive verb

: to break up into particles

Example Sentences

Noun a five-pound bag of flour mix the two flours together Verb The fish should be lightly floured before it's fried.
Recent Examples on the Web
Word rapidly spread about Ninfa's gift for grilling slabs of skirt steak with veggies and serving them piping hot alongside her flour tortillas. Robin Soslow, Chron, 19 Jan. 2023 Don’t leave town without…a sleeve or two of flour tortillas from an old-school standout, like La Purisima Bakery 2. Chris Malloy, Bon Appétit, 18 Jan. 2023 Add egg mixture to chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; add flour mixture and gently whisk until batter is smooth. Joy Cho, Good Housekeeping, 13 Jan. 2023 Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually beat in flour mixture just until incorporated. Charlyne Mattox, Country Living, 10 Jan. 2023 Reduce speed to low, gradually add flour mixture, and mix until just incorporated. Woman's Day, 10 Jan. 2023 With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until dough comes together. Karen Elizabeth Watts, Dallas News, 14 Dec. 2022 Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture; whisk until the ingredients form a smooth batter. cleveland, 13 Dec. 2022 Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low until combined. Kim Sunée, Anchorage Daily News, 9 Dec. 2022
Generously flour a work surface and set the ball of dough on it. Lopè Ariyo, Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2022 For the Coating: 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Generously flour a clean work surface and lightly oil a medium-size bowl. Katie Workman, Chicago Tribune, 12 Dec. 2022 Lightly flour a cool work surface and turn the dough out onto it. G. Daniela Galarza, Washington Post, 29 July 2022 Coat the inside of the Bundt pan with the nonstick spray and lightly flour the pan. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 28 Sep. 2022 Proofing: If using bannetons, lightly flour the baskets, being sure to dust each ridge. Washington Post, 19 May 2021 Toss the beef in the pancake mix (or flour) until all the pieces are lightly coated. The Editors, Outside Online, 23 June 2022 Once proofed, turn out the dough on an unfloured surface (resist the urge to flour the working surface to prevent the dough from sticking. Minerva Orduño Rincón, The Arizona Republic, 6 June 2022 When ready to bake, lightly re-flour your work surface. Washington Post, 1 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

Word History



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

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1657, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

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

Dictionary Entries Near flour

Cite this Entry

“Flour.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flour. Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: finely ground powdery meal of wheat or of any cereal grain or edible seed
: a fine soft powder


2 of 2 verb
: to coat with flour

More from Merriam-Webster on flour

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