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

In other words, the money that Trump claims is flowing into the Treasury doesn’t come from Beijing or Mexico City. Eugene Robinson, The Mercury News, "Robinson: Only an ignoramus would sound like Trump," 9 June 2019 There were ebbs and flows in the women’s pro game here and abroad from 1999 to 2015, and all leagues seemed to get a boost from the Women’s World Cup. Tom Hoffarth, latimes.com, "Aly Wagner Q&A: Fox Sports analyst embraces Women’s World Cup moment," 7 June 2019 But with so many levees busted, water can flow in through the breaches any time water levels rise. Washington Post, "Q&A: Missouri River flood risk to continue for months," 6 June 2019 The earnings report comes as President Donald Trump has floated the idea of imposing new tariffs on auto parts and other goods flowing from Mexico in response to waves of migrants cross the southern U.S. border. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Brown-Forman estimates $125 million in retaliatory tariffs for the year," 5 June 2019 That kind of electricity is based on electrons: negatively charged particles flowing in a current. Sally Adee, Quartz, "Our bodies are full of electricity that could help us fight cancer," 30 May 2019 Nestled on the corner of Mulberry and Broome, the little trattoria kept its doors open, allowing a light breeze to flow in. Ian Malone, Vogue, "Happy Birthday J.J.! The La DoubleJ Designer Is Celebrated With Aperol Spritzes in Little Italy," 17 May 2019 Chopra looks stuh-nning with dark, smooth strands that flow in old Hollywood-style waves. Elizabeth Denton, Allure, "Priyanka Chopra’s Waist-Length Extensions Are Giving Me Life," 2 May 2019 Much of Riyadh’s great wealth flowed into the US economy in terms of investments, arms purchases, or other businesses setting up shop in Saudi Arabia. Alex Ward, Vox, "Why the US won’t break up with Saudi Arabia over Jamal Khashoggi’s murder," 20 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Manzanares’ perseverance was sorely tested by the effects of perthes disease, which caused a disruption of blood flow and deterioration in his hip that left him bone-on-bone. John Meyer, The Denver Post, "Playing through the pain: a First Tee success story," 10 June 2019 The new design seeks to eliminate that situation by providing a tanker parking spot at the station’s far western edge that would be out of the main flow of traffic. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Vista Costco will move gas station to handle crush of cars," 10 June 2019 From as young as six months, sickle cell patients often suffer extreme pain because the lack of blood flow in their vital organs. Cindy Krischer Goodman, sun-sentinel.com, "South Floridians urged to take part in research leading to breakthroughs in fight against sickle cell disease," 8 June 2019 The change in regional fortunes is partly the result of investment flows. The Economist, "Once again, China’s richest region is pulling ahead of the others," 8 June 2019 Temperatures are expected to begin to cool Tuesday with a return of an onshore flow of air, according to the weather service. Mark Gomez, The Mercury News, "Bay Area forecast: Hot days on the horizon, with 100 degrees possible Monday," 7 June 2019 But officials warned that future rainfall could still force the corps to operate the emergency structure to move part of the Mississippi’s high-water flow into the Atchafalaya River during the next two months. Mark Schleifstein, nola.com, "Morganza Spillway opening delayed indefinitely," 6 June 2019 Shippers depend on predictable channels and a steady pace of river flow. New York Times, "Paralysis on America’s Rivers: There’s Too Much Water," 31 May 2019 The Ghanaian artist covered the entire structure in weathered jute sacks, a crude but durable material evocative of the global flow of both goods and people, which has for so long shaped this cosmopolitan city. Max Maeckler, Vogue, "The Most Mesmerizing Design Moments of Salone del Mobile," 18 Apr. 2019

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

15 Jun 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

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