Word of the Day : August 30, 2013


noun FLAIR


1 : a skill or instinctive ability to appreciate or make good use of something : talent; also : inclination, tendency

2 : a uniquely attractive quality : style

Did You Know?

In the 14th century, if someone told you that you had "flair" (or "flayre" as it was then commonly spelled), you might very well take offense! This is because in Middle English "flayre" meant "an odor." The word derived from the Old French verb "flairer" ("to give off an odor"), which came in turn from Late Latin "flagrare," itself an alteration of "fragrare." (The English words "fragrant" and "fragrance" also derive from "fragrare.") The "odor" sense of "flair" fell out of use, but in the 19th century English speakers once again borrowed "flair" from the French-this time (influenced by the Modern French use of the word for the sense of smell) to indicate a discriminating sense or instinctive discernment.


From an early age, Martin has demonstrated a real flair for drawing and painting.

"Lise de la Salle played the exuberant piano flourishes with flair and was also the fine soloist in Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 23 in A." - From an article by James R. Oestreich in The New York Times, July 30, 2013

Test Your Memory

What is the meaning of "pinchbeck," our Word of the Day from July 31? The answer is …


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!