[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 flamboyant

Contemporary Examples of flamboyant

Historical Examples of flamboyant

  • Only, there was an over-elaboration, so that the ensemble was flamboyant.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • There was no forgetting the flamboyant brilliancy of her apparel.


    W. A. Fraser

  • It was flamboyant and showy; cheap, and tawdrily pretentious.

    St. Martin's Summer

    Rafael Sabatini

  • They sent off telegrams of the most flamboyant kind about our Puritan forefathers.

    The Red Hand of Ulster

    George A. Birmingham

  • The apse is flamboyant, as are also the windows of the south transept.

British Dictionary definitions for flamboyant



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 flamboyant

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