flow

verb
\ ˈflō How to pronounce flow (audio) \
flowed; flowing; flows

Definition of flow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1a(1) : to issue or move in a stream rivers flow into the sea
(2) : circulate
b : to move with a continual change of place among the constituent particles molasses flows slowly water flowing over the dam
2 : rise the tide ebbs and flows
3 : abound a land flowing with natural resources
4a : to proceed smoothly and readily conversation flowed easily
b : to have a smooth continuity the flowing lines of the car
5 : to hang loose and billowing her gown flowed around her
6 : to derive from a source : come the wealth that flows from trade
7 : to deform under stress without cracking or rupturing used especially of minerals and rocks

transitive verb

1 : to cause to flow flowing oil over the swamp to kill mosquito larvae
2 : to discharge in a flow The new oil well flowed 100 barrels a day.

flow

noun

Definition of flow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of flowing
b : flood sense 2 the tide's ebb and flow
3a : a smooth uninterrupted movement or progress a flow of information
b : stream also : a mass of material which has flowed when molten an old lava flow
c : the direction of movement or development go with the flow
4 : the quantity that flows in a certain time a gauge that measures fuel flow
6a : the motion characteristic of fluids
b : a continuous transfer of energy

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Synonyms & Antonyms for flow

Synonyms: Verb

pour, roll, run, stream

Antonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for flow

Verb

spring, arise, rise, originate, derive, flow, issue, emanate, proceed, stem mean to come up or out of something into existence. spring implies rapid or sudden emerging. an idea that springs to mind arise and rise may both convey the fact of coming into existence or notice but rise often stresses gradual growth or ascent. new questions have arisen slowly rose to prominence originate implies a definite source or starting point. the fire originated in the basement derive implies a prior existence in another form. the holiday derives from an ancient Roman feast flow adds to spring a suggestion of abundance or ease of inception. words flowed easily from her pen issue suggests emerging from confinement through an outlet. blood issued from the cut emanate applies to the coming of something immaterial (such as a thought) from a source. reports emanating from the capital proceed stresses place of origin, derivation, parentage, or logical cause. advice that proceeds from the best of intentions stem implies originating by dividing or branching off from something as an outgrowth or subordinate development. industries stemming from space research

Examples of flow in a Sentence

Verb

rivers flowing into the sea She opened the faucet and the water began to flow freely. a device that measures the amount of electricity flowing through a circuit Traffic has been flowing smoothly from east to west. The grain flowed smoothly down the elevator chute. Requests have flowed into the office. Money has continued to flow in.

Noun

a sudden flow of tears a steady flow of traffic The doctor was trying to stop the flow of blood. We want to encourage the free flow of ideas. the westward flow of settlers We've been receiving a constant flow of phone calls. measuring blood flow to the brain
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The mom of twins kept her beauty look natural, with flowing, slightly curled, impossibly bouncy hair, a touch of blush and a light pink lip. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Amal Clooney's Polka Dot Skirt Suit Is Exactly What We Need Today," 27 Sep. 2018 But two made a big difference: installing massive pumps to drain water from the cave and building an improvised dam to keep floodwaters from flowing in. Richard C. Paddock, New York Times, "How Rescuers Pulled Off the Impossible in a Treacherous Thai Cave," 10 July 2018 Recent history certainly suggests that the global game has been reshaped by the money and power flowing to a narrowing number of leagues and clubs. Brian Straus, SI.com, "The Factors and Figures Behind Europe's World Cup Dominance Trend," 8 July 2018 On Wednesday, Thai teams constructed dams in an effort to prevent more rainwater from flowing into the cave. Eli Meixler, Time, "International Experts from the U.S. and U.K. Join the Search for 12 Missing Thai Boys and Their Coach," 28 June 2018 Loaded: 0% Progress: 0% 0:00 / 3:51 Harnessing the power of water to turn it into electricity Advertisement Learn how hydropower captures the kinetic energy of flowing water and turns it into electricity for our homes and businesses. Heather Kennison, idahostatesman, "What's it like to rely on renewable energy? Look at life in Idaho.," 26 June 2018 It's been testing to determine whether the valley was sculpted by flowing water, wind erosion or combination of factors. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Opportunity rover threatened by giant storm on Mars," 13 June 2018 And if amateurism breaks down at the college level, what’s to stop money from flowing to athletes even younger than college age? William H. Noack And Don Kusler, star-telegram, "Pro-con: Was Condoleezza Rice right in recommending that college athletes not be paid?," 8 June 2018 Instead the flowing cape not only flattered her burgeoning baby bump, but also but added interest to the look without any busy-ness. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "How to Wear a Cape Like Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle," 28 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There is a constant flow of payments between the U.K. and the European Union. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Treasurers Consider Changes to Bank Accounts, Cash Pools Ahead of Brexit," 4 Mar. 2019 There’s also a regular flow of trophies, albeit only potentially secondary ones this season. Rob Harris, The Seattle Times, "Maurizio Sarri isolated at Chelsea after fans turn on him," 19 Feb. 2019 The bagging blades provide the necessary air flow to move grass clippings into the 2.25-bushel rear bag. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "The Cub Cadet CC 600 Is a Walk-Behind Lawn Mower That Means Business," 5 Mar. 2019 Tau clumps together in the tissues of the brain, interrupting critical information flow. Brian Resnick, Vox, "What a lifetime of playing football can do to the human brain," 4 Feb. 2019 Everyone working the show wears a white coat, the uniform of both atelier artisans and laboratory scientists, which is perfect stage-setting for the genius experiments that flow from this space. Jordan Roth, Vogue, "Jordan Roth: A Man’s View on the Haute Couture," 28 Jan. 2019 Image: Lauren Dauphin/NASA Earth Observatory What’s the difference between a mudslide, landslide, or debris flow? Rachel Becker, The Verge, "Why fire-scorched California is now readying for mudslides," 30 Nov. 2018 For example, an AND gate lets current flow out only if current is flowing in from all the inputs, while an OR gate requires only one input. Eric Smalley, Discover Magazine, "Cellular Cyborgs: How Programmable DNA Strands Might Control Healing," 25 Sep. 2018 Meanwhile, the state water board — which must issue permits before tunnel construction can begin — unveiled a preliminary plan last week to increase freshwater flows through the delta by 2 million acre-feet annually. George Skelton, latimes.com, "What do Southern Californians really get out of Gov. Jerry Brown's twin tunnels project?," 12 July 2018

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

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a(1)

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for flow

Verb and Noun

Middle English, from Old English flōwan; akin to Old High German flouwen to rinse, wash, Latin pluere to rain, Greek plein to sail, float

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Statistics for flow

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flow

The first known use of flow was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for flow

flow

verb

English Language Learners Definition of flow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

of liquid, gas, or electricity : to move in a steady and continuous way
: to move in a continuous and smooth way
: to move, come, or go continuously in one direction

flow

noun

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

: an act of flowing : the movement of something that is flowing
: a large area of mud or some other material that is flowing or that was formed by flowing
: the amount of something that flows in a certain time

flow

verb
\ ˈflō How to pronounce flow (audio) \
flowed; flowing

Kids Definition of flow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move in or as if in a stream The river flows to the sea. She felt relief flow through her.
2 : to glide along smoothly Traffic is flowing on the highway.
3 : to hang loose and waving Her hair flowed down.

flow

noun

Kids Definition of flow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of moving in or as if in a stream a flow of tears a flow of praise
2 : the rise of the tide the ebb and flow of the tide
3 : a smooth even movement : stream the flow of conversation a flow of information
4 : an amount or mass of something moving in a stream blood flow
\ ˈflō How to pronounce flow (audio) \

Medical Definition of flow

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to move with a continual change of place among the constituent particles blood flows toward the heart in veins

flow

noun

Medical Definition of flow (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the quantity that flows in a certain time
3 : the motion characteristic of fluids

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More from Merriam-Webster on flow

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flow

Spanish Central: Translation of flow

Nglish: Translation of flow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flow for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about flow

Comments on flow

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