in bloom; flowering; blossoming.
glowing, as with youthful vigor and freshness: blooming cheeks.
flourishing; prospering: a blooming business.
Chiefly British Slang. (used as an intensifier): He's got his blooming nerve.


Chiefly British Slang. (used as an intensifier): not blooming likely.

Origin of blooming

1350–1400; Middle English; see bloom1, -ing2; as intensifier, a euphemism for bloody, by phonetic similarity
Related formsbloom·ing·ly, adverbbloom·ing·ness, nounnon·bloom·ing, adjective, nounpre·bloom·ing, adjective




the flower of a plant.
flowers collectively: the bloom of the cherry tree.
state of having the buds opened: The gardens are all in bloom.
a flourishing, healthy condition; the time or period of greatest beauty, artistry, etc.: the bloom of youth; the bloom of Romanticism.
a glow or flush on the cheek indicative of youth and health: a serious illness that destroyed her bloom.
the glossy, healthy appearance of the coat of an animal.
a moist, lustrous appearance indicating freshness in fish.
redness or a fresh appearance on the surface of meat.
Botany. a whitish powdery deposit or coating, as on the surface of certain fruits and leaves: the bloom of the grape.
any similar surface coating or appearance: the bloom of newly minted coins.
any of certain minerals occurring as powdery coatings on rocks or other minerals.
Also called chill. a clouded or dull area on a varnished or lacquered surface.
Also called algal bloom, water bloom. the sudden development of conspicuous masses of organisms, as algae, on the surface of a body of water.
Television. image spread produced by excessive exposure of highlights in a television image.

verb (used without object)

to produce or yield blossoms.
to flourish or thrive: a recurrent fad that blooms from time to time.
to be in or achieve a state of healthful beauty and vigor: a sickly child who suddenly bloomed; a small talent that somehow bloomed into major artistry.
to glow with warmth or with a warm color.

verb (used with object)

to cause to yield blossoms.
to make bloom or cause to flourish: a happiness that blooms the cheek.
to invest with luster or beauty: an industry that blooms one's talents.
to cause a cloudy area on (something shiny); dampen; chill: Their breath bloomed the frosty pane.
Optics. to coat (a lens) with an antireflection material.

Origin of bloom

1150–1200; (noun) Middle English blom, blome < Old Norse blōm, blōmi; cognate with Gothic blōma lily, German Blume flower; akin to blow3; (v.) Middle English blomen, derivative of the noun
Related formsbloom·less, adjective

Synonyms for bloom




a piece of steel, square or slightly oblong in section, reduced from an ingot to dimensions suitable for further rolling.
a large lump of iron and slag, of pasty consistency when hot, produced in a puddling furnace or bloomery and hammered into wrought iron.

verb (used with object)

to make (an ingot) into a bloom.

Origin of bloom

before 1000; representing Anglo-Latin, Anglo-French blomes (plural), Old English blōma mass of iron; perhaps akin to bloom1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for blooming

Contemporary Examples of blooming

Historical Examples of blooming

  • She was standing against a background of blooming hollyhocks.

  • So the years passed, the angel watching his blooming charge.

  • He bent over the child, and laid her blooming cheek against his face.

    A Tale of Two Cities

    Charles Dickens

  • But ye cannot be his children; for he is young and blooming.


    William Godwin

  • Hilda Marsh—Hilda the blooming, the full bosomed, the matronly.

    Monday or Tuesday

    Virginia Woolf

British Dictionary definitions for blooming


adverb, adjective

British informal (intensifier)a blooming genius; blooming painful

Word Origin for blooming

C19: euphemistic for bloody




a blossom on a flowering plant; a flower
the state, time, or period when flowers open (esp in the phrases in bloom, in full bloom)
open flowers collectivelya tree covered with bloom
a healthy, vigorous, or flourishing condition; prime (esp in the phrase the bloom of youth)
youthful or healthy rosiness in the cheeks or face; glow
a fine whitish coating on the surface of fruits, leaves, etc, consisting of minute grains of a waxy substance
any coating similar in appearance, such as that on new coins
ecology a visible increase in the algal constituent of plankton, which may be seasonal or due to excessive organic pollution
Also called: chill a dull area formed on the surface of gloss paint, lacquer, or varnish

verb (mainly intr)

(of flowers) to open; come into flower
to bear flowers; blossom
to flourish or grow
to be in a healthy, glowing, or flourishing condition
(tr) physics to coat (a lens) with a thin layer of a substance, often magnesium fluoride, to eliminate surface reflection

Word Origin for bloom

C13: of Germanic origin; compare Old Norse blōm flower, Old High German bluomo, Middle Dutch bloeme; see blow ³




a rectangular mass of metal obtained by rolling or forging a cast ingotSee also billet 1 (def. 2)


(tr) to convert (an ingot) into a bloom by rolling or forging

Word Origin for bloom

Old English blōma lump of metal
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for blooming

late 14c., present participle adjective from bloom (v.). Meaning "full-blown" (often a euphemism for bloody) is attested from 1882.



"blossom of a plant," c.1200, a northern word, from a Scandinavian source akin to Old Norse blomi "flower, blossom," also collectively "flowers and foliage on trees;" from Proto-Germanic *blomon (cf. Old Saxon blomo, Middle Dutch bloeme, Dutch bloem, Old High German bluomo, German Blume, Gothic bloma), from PIE *bhle- (cf. Old Irish blath "blossom, flower," Latin flos "flower," florere "to blossom, flourish"), extended form of *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole). Related to Old English blowan "to flower" (see blow (v.2)).

Transferred sense, of persons, is from c.1300; meaning "state of greatest loveliness" is from early 14c.; that of "blush on the cheeks" is from 1752. Old English had cognate bloma, but only in the figurative sense of "state of greatest beauty;" the main word in Old English for "flower" was blostm (see blossom).



"rough mass of wrought iron," from Old English bloma "lump of metal; mass," of unknown origin. Identical in form to bloom (n.1), and sometimes regarded as a secondary sense of it, but evidence of a connection is wanting.



mid-13c., blomen, from the noun (see bloom (n.1)). Related: Bloomed; blooming.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper