Word of the Day : July 2, 2019


verb BER-jun


1 a : to send forth new growth (such as buds or branches) : sprout

b : bloom

2 : to grow and expand rapidly : flourish

Did You Know?

Burgeon first appeared in Middle English as burjonen—a borrowing from the Anglo-French burjuner, meaning "to bud or sprout." Burgeon is often used figuratively, as when writer P. G. Wodehouse used it in the 1946 novel Joy in the Morning: "I weighed this. It sounded promising. Hope began to burgeon." Usage commentators have objected to the use of burgeon to mean "to flourish" or "to grow rapidly," insisting that any figurative use should stay true to the word's earliest literal meaning and distinguish budding or sprouting from subsequent growing. But the sense of burgeon that indicates growing or expanding and prospering (as in "the burgeoning music scene" or "the burgeoning international market") has been in established use for decades and is, in fact, the most common use of burgeon today.


The trout population in the stream has burgeoned since the town implemented its laws against overfishing.

"Original plans called for Hollywood Studios to be an entertainment pavilion…. But as concepts burgeoned among Disney's 'Imagineers,' it became clear that there was enough material to make this pavilion a theme park of its own." — Bruce Pecho, The Florida Times-Union, 5 May 2019

Name That Synonym

Fill in the blanks to complete a synonym of burgeon: p _ _ l _ f _ r _ _ e.



More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!