flour·​ish | \ ˈflər-ish How to pronounce flourish (audio) , ˈflə-rish \
flourished; flourishing; flourishes

Definition of flourish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to grow luxuriantly : thrive
2a : to achieve success : prosper a flourishing business
b : to be in a state of activity or production flourished around 1850
c : to reach a height of development or influence The company flourished with record profits under the new owner.
3 : to make bold and sweeping gestures

transitive verb

: to wield with dramatic gestures : brandish Dressed as a pirate, he entered the stage flourishing his sword.



Definition of flourish (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of brandishing or waving
2a : a florid bit of speech or writing rhetorical flourishes
b : an ornamental stroke in writing or printing
c : a decorative or finishing detail a house with clever little flourishes
3 : fanfare
4a : a period of thriving
b : a luxuriant growth or profusion a flourish of white hair a springtime flourish of color
5 : showiness in the doing of something opened the door with a flourish
6 : a sudden burst a flourish of activity

Other Words from flourish


flourisher noun

Synonyms for flourish

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for flourish


swing, wave, flourish, brandish, thrash mean to wield or cause to move to and fro or up and down. swing implies regular or uniform movement. swing the rope back and forth wave usually implies smooth or continuous motion. waving the flag flourish suggests vigorous, ostentatious, graceful movement. flourished the winning lottery ticket brandish implies threatening or menacing motion. brandishing a knife thrash suggests vigorous, abrupt, violent movement. an infant thrashing his arms about

Examples of flourish in a Sentence

Verb plants and animals that flourished here thousands of years ago Regional markets have flourished in recent years. a decorative style that flourished in the 1920s Dressed as a pirate, he entered the stage flourishing his sword. Noun the floral flourishes in the living room a house with many clever little flourishes Her writing style is simple and clear, without unnecessary flourishes. Dinner was served with a flourish. He waved his sword with a flourish. She opened the door with a flourish. With a flourish of her pen, she signed the bill into law. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Yes, there is a historical coincidence between monetary and business cycles, but this is only natural: Officials tend to raise rates as economies flourish, only to stop when a downturn ensues. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, 18 June 2022 And the thickets of shrubs, flowers and trees work together to provide food and shelter for insects and pollinators that help the plants spread and flourish. Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2022 Raman Singh wants people of all faiths to come together to help communities flourish. Layla Mcmurtrie, Detroit Free Press, 10 June 2022 From coming-of-age dramas, to swashbuckling romance, to dazzling ballroom displays, here's a list of fun, fabulous, engaging, and must-watch shows that flourish with LGBTQ+ representation. Ew Staff, EW.com, 9 June 2022 On Tuesday night, Lenae’s return was worth the wait: Judging by the rapturous response to her every vocal run and flourish, her fans’ appetite has been growing unabated for all this time. Chris Kelly, Washington Post, 8 June 2022 This allowed the fabless (design only) industry to flourish and helped enable the large-scale ubiquitous deployment of the technologies that make remote working, online learning, the sharing economy, and entertainment streaming a reality today. Mark Liu, Fortune, 8 June 2022 Prebiotics are nutrients that may help probiotic bacteria flourish (mainly fiber) by encouraging them to grow and function more effectively. The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 June 2022 Past research shows that societies and organizations flourish when members help one another, share information and engage in collective problem-solving. Hemant Kakkar, Scientific American, 30 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At one point, with the sort of momentary, one-off technical flourish at which Diaz excels, a long exchange in English is rendered on the page as near-gibberish, not for comic effect but as Hakan’s sincere effort to make sense of it. Jonathan Dee, Harper’s Magazine , 25 May 2022 Meanwhile, the rear yard, which has areas of dappled sun where nasturtiums and Orange clivia (Clivia miniata) flourish, features a small dining table. Nicole Sours Larson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 May 2022 Every sentence of the invitation ended with an inky flourish, a triple loop of calligraphy befitting a night of dinner, dancing and fireworks at Haiti’s national palace. New York Times, 20 May 2022 Tuna Tartare arrives as a little stack of avocado, chopped raw fish, and a flourish of micro-greens, surrounded by ultra-crisp chips. Sheryl Julian, BostonGlobe.com, 12 May 2022 Stripped of any unnecessary flourish, his performances, both as a soloist and with leading international orchestras, were marked by their musical purity. Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2022 Above the couch, a gallery wall of nudes the homeowner sourced from flea shops and antique stores lends the space another (literal) feminine flourish. Sarah Karnasiewicz, WSJ, 25 Jan. 2022 With a flourish of purple and white, nearly 500 of Niles North High School’s seniors attended commencement Sunday at the home of the Vikings. Karie Angell Luc, Chicago Tribune, 23 May 2022 The stage seemed set for the best pitcher of his generation to add the ultimate flourish to a career destined for Cooperstown. Jared Diamond, WSJ, 13 Apr. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flourish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of flourish


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


circa 1552, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for flourish


Middle English florisshen "to put forth flowers, bloom, grow luxuriantly, prosper, brandish (a weapon)," borrowed from Anglo-French floriss-, stem of florir, flurir "to bloom, grow abundantly, thrive," going back to Vulgar Latin *flōrīre, restructuring of Latin flōrēscere "to begin to flower, increase in vigor," inchoative derivative of flōrēre "to bloom, prosper, be at the peak of one's powers," stative verbal derivative of flōr-, flōs flower entry 1


derivative of flourish entry 1

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Time Traveler for flourish

Time Traveler

The first known use of flourish was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near flourish

flour gravy



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Statistics for flourish

Last Updated

22 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flourish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flourish. Accessed 27 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for flourish


flour·​ish | \ ˈflər-ish How to pronounce flourish (audio) \
flourished; flourishing

Kids Definition of flourish

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to grow well : thrive Plants flourish in this rich soil.
2 : to do well : enjoy success This style of art flourished in the 1920s.
3 : to make sweeping movements with He flourished a sword.



Kids Definition of flourish (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a fancy bit of decoration added to something He added a flourish to his signature.
2 : a sweeping motion She removed her hat with a flourish.

More from Merriam-Webster on flourish

Nglish: Translation of flourish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flourish for Arabic Speakers


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