What does flourish mean?

Definitions for flourish
ˈflɜr ɪʃ, ˈflʌr-flour·ish

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word flourish.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. flourishnoun

    a showy gesture

    "she entered with a great flourish"

  2. flourishnoun

    an ornamental embellishment in writing

  3. flourishnoun

    a display of ornamental speech or language

  4. flourish, brandishnoun

    the act of waving

  5. flourish, fanfare, tucketverb

    (music) a short lively tune played on brass instruments

    "he entered to a flourish of trumpets"; "her arrival was greeted with a rousing fanfare"

  6. boom, thrive, flourish, expandverb

    grow vigorously

    "The deer population in this town is thriving"; "business is booming"

  7. thrive, prosper, fly high, flourishverb

    make steady progress; be at the high point in one's career or reach a high point in historical significance or importance

    "The new student is thriving"

  8. brandish, flourish, waveverb

    move or swing back and forth

    "She waved her gun"


  1. flourishnoun

    A dramatic gesture such as the waving of a flag.

    With many flourishes of the captured banner, they marched down the avenue.

  2. flourishnoun

    An ornamentation.

    His signature ended with a flourish.

  3. flourishnoun

    A ceremonious passage such as a fanfare.

    The trumpets blew a flourish as they entered the church.

  4. flourishnoun

    A decorative embellishment on a building.

  5. flourishverb

    To thrive or grow well.

    The barley flourished in the warm weather.

  6. flourishverb

    To prosper or fare well.

  7. flourishverb

    To be in a period of greatest influence.

    His writing flourished before the war.

  8. flourishverb

    To make bold, sweeping movements with.

    They flourished the banner as they stormed the palace.

  9. Etymology: From florisshen, flurisshen, and from floriss-, stem of some conjugated forms of florir, (fleurir);, from florire, from floreo (with influence from flōrēscō), from flos. See flower + -ish.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Flourishnoun

    Etymology: from the verb.

    I call’d thee then vain flourish of my fortune;
    I call’d thee then poor shadow, painted queen,
    The presentation of but what I was. William Shakespeare, Richard III.

    The flourish of his sober youth,
    Was the pride of naked truth. Richard Crashaw.

    This is a flourish: there follow excellent parables. Francis Bacon.

    We can excuse the duty of our knowledge, if we only bestow the flourish of poetry thereon, or those commendatory conceits which popularly set forth the eminence of this creature. Thomas Browne, Vulgar Errours, b. vi. c. 5.

    The apprehension is so deeply rivetted into my mind, that such rhetorical flourishes cannot at all loosen or brush it out. Henry More, Divine Dialogues.

    Villanies have not the same countenance, when there are great interests, plausible colours, and flourishes of wit and rhetorick interposed between the sight and the object. Roger L'Estrange.

    The so much repeated ornament and flourish of their former speeches was commonly the truest word they spoke, tho’ least believed by them. Robert South, Sermons.

    Studious to please the genius of the times,
    With periods, points, and tropes he slurs his crimes;
    He lards with flourishes his long harangue;
    ’Tis fine, say’st thou; what to be prais’d, and hang? Dryd.

    A child with delight looks upon emblems finely drawn and painted, and takes some pleasure in beholding the neat characters and flourishes of a bible curiously printed. Boyle.

    They were intended only for ludicrous ornaments of nature, like the flourishes about a great letter that signify nothing, but are made only to delight the eye. Henry More, against Atheism.

  2. To Flourishverb

    With shadowy verdure flourish’d high,
    A sudden youth the groves enjoy. Elijah Fenton.

    All that I shall say will be but like bottoms of thread close wound up, which, with a good needle, perhaps may be flourished into large works. Francis Bacon, War with Spain.

    And all the powers of hell in full applause
    Flourish’d their snakes, and toss’d their flaming brands. Richard Crashaw.

    Against the post their wicker shields they crush,
    Flourish the sword, and at the plastron push. John Dryden, Juv.

    We should add the labours of Hercules, though flourished with much fabulous matter; yet it doth notably set forth the consent of all nations and ages in the approbation of the extirpating and debellating giants, monsters and tyrants. Francis Bacon.

    To bring you thus together, ’tis no sin,
    Sith that the justice of your title to him
    Doth flourish the deceit. William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure.

  3. To FLOURISHverb

    Etymology: floreo, floresco, Latin.

    The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree. Ps. xcii. 12.

    Where e’er you tread, the blushing flow’rs shall rise,
    And all things flourish where you turn your eyes. Alexander Pope.

    If I could find example
    Of thousands, that had struck anointed kings,
    And flourish’d after, I’d not do’t: but since
    Nor brass, nor stone, nor parchment, bears not one,
    Let villany itself forswear’t. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    Harry, that prophesied thou should’st be king,
    Doth comfort thee in sleep; live thou and flourish. William Shakespeare.

    He was the patron of my manhood, when I flourished in the opinion of the world, though with small advantage to my fortune. John Dryden, Lord Clifford. Dedicat. to.

    Whilst Marcus Tullius Cicero acts the part of a rhetorician, he dilates and flourishes, and gives example instead of rule. Thomas Baker.

    You should not affect to flourish in a copious harangue and a diffusive style in company. Isaac Watts, Improvement of the Mind.

    They dilate sometimes, and flourish long upon little incidents, and they skip over and but lightly touch the drier part of their theme. Isaac Watts, Logick.

    Impetuous spread
    The stream and smoaking, flourish’d o’er his head. Alexander Pope.


  1. flourish

    Flourish is a verb that means to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as a result of a particularly beneficial environment. It can also refer to an exaggerated or grand action, often used for attracting attention or demonstrating something. As a noun, it refers to a bold or extravagant gesture or action intended to impress or attract attention.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Flourishverb

    to grow luxuriantly; to increase and enlarge, as a healthy growing plant; a thrive

  2. Flourishverb

    to be prosperous; to increase in wealth, honor, comfort, happiness, or whatever is desirable; to thrive; to be prominent and influental; specifically, of authors, painters, etc., to be in a state of activity or production

  3. Flourishverb

    to use florid language; to indulge in rhetorical figures and lofty expressions; to be flowery

  4. Flourishverb

    to make bold and sweeping, fanciful, or wanton movements, by way of ornament, parade, bravado, etc.; to play with fantastic and irregular motion

  5. Flourishverb

    to make ornamental strokes with the pen; to write graceful, decorative figures

  6. Flourishverb

    to execute an irregular or fanciful strain of music, by way of ornament or prelude

  7. Flourishverb

    to boast; to vaunt; to brag

  8. Flourishverb

    to adorn with flowers orbeautiful figures, either natural or artificial; to ornament with anything showy; to embellish

  9. Flourishverb

    to embellish with the flowers of diction; to adorn with rhetorical figures; to grace with ostentatious eloquence; to set off with a parade of words

  10. Flourishverb

    to move in bold or irregular figures; to swing about in circles or vibrations by way of show or triumph; to brandish

  11. Flourishverb

    to develop; to make thrive; to expand

  12. Flourishnoun

    a flourishing condition; prosperity; vigor

  13. Flourishnoun

    decoration; ornament; beauty

  14. Flourishnoun

    something made or performed in a fanciful, wanton, or vaunting manner, by way of ostentation, to excite admiration, etc.; ostentatious embellishment; ambitious copiousness or amplification; parade of words and figures; show; as, a flourish of rhetoric or of wit

  15. Flourishnoun

    a fanciful stroke of the pen or graver; a merely decorative figure

  16. Flourishnoun

    a fantastic or decorative musical passage; a strain of triumph or bravado, not forming part of a regular musical composition; a cal; a fanfare

  17. Flourishnoun

    the waving of a weapon or other thing; a brandishing; as, the flourish of a sword

  18. Etymology: [OE. florisshen, flurisshen, OF. flurir, F. fleurir, fr. L. florere to bloom, fr. flos, floris, flower. See Flower, and -ish.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Flourish

    flur′ish, v.i. to thrive luxuriantly: to be prosperous: to use copious and flowery language: to move in fantastic figures: to display ostentatiously: (mus.) to play ostentatious passages, or ostentatiously: to play a trumpet-call: to make ornamental strokes with the pen: to boast or brag.—v.t. to adorn with flourishes or ornaments: to swing about by way of show or triumph: (Shak.) to gloss over.—n. decoration: showy splendour: a figure made by a bold stroke of the pen: the waving of a weapon or other thing: a parade of words: a musical prelude: a trumpet-call.—adjs. Flour′ished, decorated with flourishes; Flour′ishing, thriving: prosperous: making a show.—adv. Flour′ishingly.—adj. Flour′ishy, abounding in flourishes.—Flourish of trumpets, a trumpet-call sounded on the approach of great persons; any ostentatious introduction. [O. Fr. florir, L. flos, flower.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. flourish

    The waving of a weapon or other thing; a brandishing; as, the flourish of a sword.

  2. flourish

    To execute an irregular or fanciful strain of music, by way of ornament or prelude, as, a flourish of trumpets.

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'flourish' in Verbs Frequency: #1087

How to pronounce flourish?

How to say flourish in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of flourish in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of flourish in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of flourish in a Sentence

  1. Madelaine Atteberry:

    When the dinosaurs went extinct, access to different foods and environments enabled mammals to flourish and diversify rapidly in their tooth anatomy and evolve larger body size, they clearly took advantage of this opportunity, as we can see from the radiation of new mammal species that took place in a relatively short amount of time following the mass extinction.

  2. Warren Bennis:

    There are two ways of being creative. One can sing and dance. Or one can create an environment in which singers and dancers flourish.

  3. Gavin Gibbons:

    It's not only disturbing, it's disheartening because our companies have zero tolerance for labor abuses, these type of things flourish in the shadows.

  4. Shawn Sanders:

    I was like, Man, thats crazy, it really hit home. That gives me the power and the energy to keep going and be the person I am today, and continue to help people, help the youth coming up under me and just continue to live life and flourish.

  5. Theresa Jones:

    He was very strict but wanted us to flourish, he wanted us to do our best.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for flourish

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • ازدهرArabic
  • размахване, фанфари, вирея, завъртулка, размахвам, процъфтявамBulgarian
  • vzkvétatCzech
  • gedeihen, Fanfare, Schnörkel, aufblühen, blühen, VerzierungGerman
  • κόσμημαGreek
  • flori, fanfaro, disfloriEsperanto
  • prosperar, ademanes, floritura, floreoSpanish
  • شکوفا شدنPersian
  • kukoistaaFinnish
  • morceau de bravoure, brandir, gesticulation, fioriture, fleurirFrench
  • rathIrish
  • पनपनेHindi
  • ծաղկելArmenian
  • berkembangIndonesian
  • sveifla, blómstra, dafnaIcelandic
  • crescere, svilupparsi, fiorire, gesticolio, sventolio, svolazzo, girigogolo, prosperareItalian
  • לפרוחHebrew
  • 繁栄, 繁茂する, 栄えるJapanese
  • germinabuntLatin
  • wuiven, gezwaai, floreren, bloeien, zwaaien, zwaai, opbloeien, ornament, versieringDutch
  • blomstreNorwegian
  • zakrętasPolish
  • floreio, florescerPortuguese
  • завитушка, фанфара, загогулина, процветать, туш, росчеркRussian
  • blomstra, frodasSwedish
  • güzelleşmekTurkish
  • בליעןYiddish
  • 繁榮Chinese

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"flourish." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/flourish>.

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    find repugnant
    A summon
    B render
    C famish
    D abhor

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