Word of the Day : August 7, 2014


noun flor-ESS-unss


: a state or period of being in bloom or of flourishing

Did You Know?

The flowering of botany as a science in the 18th century produced a garden of English words that came about as adaptations of Latin words. Botanists picked "florescence" as a showy word to refer to the blooming of a flower-a good choice given that the term grew out of the New Latin "florescentia," meaning "blossoming." "Florescentia" is related to the Latin verb "florēre" ("to blossom or flourish") and rooted in the Latin noun "flos," meaning "flower." Less literal types appreciated the word, too, and applied it to anything that seemed to be thriving or flourishing, as in "the highest florescence of a civilization."


"Salmonberry flowers … add their showy magenta florescence to the visual banquet." -Carla Peterson, Capital City Weekly (Alaska), May 25, 2011

"Just one year later, the Solidarność movement was flourishing, animated by a new sense of national unity and a commitment to non-violence.… But this florescence occurred against a backdrop of fear that, at any point, the Soviet Union might intervene…." - Victor Gaetan, The National Catholic Register, June 18, 2014

Word Family Quiz

What relative of "florescence" can refer to all the plants that live in a particular area, time, period, or environment? The answer is …


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