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Synonym Chooser

How does the verb flow differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of flow are arise, derive, emanate, issue, originate, proceed, rise, spring, and stem. While all these words mean "to come up or out of something into existence," flow adds to spring a suggestion of abundance or ease of inception.

words flowed easily from her pen

How do arise and rise relate to one another, in the sense of flow?

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

When might derive be a better fit than flow?

The synonyms derive and flow are sometimes interchangeable, but derive implies a prior existence in another form.

the holiday derives from an ancient Roman feast

In what contexts can emanate take the place of flow?

The meanings of emanate and flow largely overlap; however, emanate applies to the coming of something immaterial (such as a thought) from a source.

reports emanating from the capital

When would issue be a good substitute for flow?

In some situations, the words issue and flow are roughly equivalent. However, issue suggests emerging from confinement through an outlet.

blood issued from the cut

When can originate be used instead of flow?

While in some cases nearly identical to flow, originate implies a definite source or starting point.

the fire originated in the basement

Where would proceed be a reasonable alternative to flow?

The words proceed and flow can be used in similar contexts, but proceed stresses place of origin, derivation, parentage, or logical cause.

advice that proceeds from the best of intentions

When is spring a more appropriate choice than flow?

The words spring and flow are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, spring implies rapid or sudden emerging.

an idea that springs to mind

When could stem be used to replace flow?

While the synonyms stem and flow are close in meaning, stem implies originating by dividing or branching off from something as an outgrowth or subordinate development.

industries stemming from space research

Thesaurus Entries Near flow

Cite this Entry

“Flow.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/flow. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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