[bur-juh n]

noun, verb (used with or without object)


or bour·geon


verb (used without object)

to grow or develop quickly; flourish: The town burgeoned into a city. He burgeoned into a fine actor.
to begin to grow, as a bud; put forth buds, shoots, etc., as a plant (often followed by out, forth).

verb (used with object)

to put forth, as buds.


a bud; sprout.

Origin of burgeon

1275–1325; (noun) Middle English burjon, burion shoot, bud < Anglo-French burjun, burg(e)on; Old French burjon < Vulgar Latin *burriōne(m), accusative of *burriō, derivative of Late Latin burra wool, fluff (cf. bourrée, bureau), presumably from the down covering certain buds; (v.) Middle English burg(e)onen, borgen < Anglo-French, Old French, derivative of the noun

Synonyms for burgeon

Usage note

The two senses of burgeon, “to bud” ( The maples are burgeoning ) and “to grow or flourish” ( The suburbs around the city have been burgeoning under the impact of commercial growth ), date from the 14th century. Today the sense “to grow or flourish” is the more common. Occasionally, objections are raised to the use of this sense, perhaps because of its popularity in journalistic writing. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bourgeoning

Historical Examples of bourgeoning

  • Now will I get me up unto mine own forests And behold their bourgeoning.


    Ezra Pound

  • But Walter had caught his arm and pulled it down with all the might in his bourgeoning muscles.

    The Incendiary

    W. A. (William Augustine) Leahy

  • But perhaps the best service the pasture did us was as a theatre for the dramatization of the bourgeoning social instinct.

  • A sense of renewal and bourgeoning was upon him, that feeling of waking from a dream and finding the beloved is, after all, alive.

    The Prisoner

    Alice Brown

  • When rains come the emerald hills laugh with delight as bourgeoning bloom is spread in the sunlight.

British Dictionary definitions for bourgeoning


noun, verb

a variant spelling of burgeon




(often foll by forth or out) (of a plant) to sprout (buds)
(intr ; often foll by forth or out) to develop or grow rapidly; flourish


a bud of a plant

Word Origin for burgeon

C13: from Old French burjon, perhaps ultimately from Late Latin burra shaggy cloth; from the downiness of certain buds
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 bourgeoning



early 14c., "grow, sprout, blossom," from Anglo-French burjuner, Old French borjoner "to bud, sprout," from borjon "a bud, shoot, pimple" (Modern French bourgeon), of uncertain origin. Perhaps from Vulgar Latin *burrionem (nominative *burrio), from Late Latin burra "flock of wool," itself of uncertain origin. Some sources (Kitchin, Gamillscheg) say either the French word or the Vulgar Latin one is from Germanic. The English verb is perhaps instead a native development from burjoin (n.) "a bud" (c.1300), from Old French. Related: Burgeoned; burgeoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper