[flam-boi-uh nt]


strikingly bold or brilliant; showy: flamboyant colors.
conspicuously dashing and colorful: the flamboyant idol of international society.
florid; ornate; elaborately styled: flamboyant speeches.
  1. having the form of an ogee, as a bar of tracery.
  2. noting or pertaining to French Gothic architecture of the late 15th and early and middle 16th centuries, characterized by the use of flamboyant tracery, intricacy of detailing, virtuosity of workmanship, attenuation of parts, and frequent complication of interior space.


Origin of flamboyant

1825–35; < French, present participle of flamboyer to flame, flair, derivative of Old French flambe flame; see -ant
Related formsflam·boy·ance, flam·boy·an·cy, nounflam·boy·ant·ly, adverbun·flam·boy·ant, adjectiveun·flam·boy·ant·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flamboyance

Contemporary Examples of flamboyance

Historical Examples of flamboyance

  • There was none of this flamboyance about the Widow Boursier.

    She Stands Accused

    Victor MacClure

  • They have a passion for commonplace, and in moments of emotion they fly with unerring instinct into the flamboyance of melodrama.'

    The Explorer

    W. Somerset Maugham

  • He allowed Master Sean a certain amount of flamboyance; good sorcerers were hard to come by.

    The Eyes Have It

    Gordon Randall Garrett

  • The beauty of others was vulgarized by the flamboyance of some irrelevant detail, such as hair.

    The Divine Fire

    May Sinclair

British Dictionary definitions for flamboyance



elaborate or extravagant; florid; showy
rich or brilliant in colour; resplendent
exuberant or ostentatious
of, denoting, or relating to the French Gothic style of architecture characterized by flamelike tracery and elaborate carving


another name for royal poinciana
Derived Formsflamboyance or flamboyancy, nounflamboyantly, adverb

Word Origin for flamboyant

C19: from French: flaming, from flamboyer to flame
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 flamboyance

1891, from flamboyant + -ance.



1832, first used of a 15c.-16c. architectural style with flame-like curves, from French flamboyant "flaming, wavy," present participle of flamboyer "to flame," from Old French flamboier (12c.), from flambe "flame," from flamble, variant of flamme, from Latin flammula (see flame (n.)). Extended sense of "showy, ornate" is 1879. Related: Flamboyantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper