[ flair-uhp ]
See synonyms for flareup on Thesaurus.com
  1. a sudden flaring up of flame or light.

  2. a sudden outburst or intensification, as of anger or tensions.

  1. a sudden outbreak of violence, disease, or any other condition thought to be quelled, checked, or inactive.

Origin of flareup

First recorded in 1830–40; noun use of verb phrase flare up

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use flareup in a sentence

  • For a word, she would flare up into a sudden anger, nor try as he would, could he divine what action of his would displease her.

    The Woman Gives | Owen Johnson
  • As the light gleamed out Lieutenant Hal turned its broad flare up the river.

  • The light of the lantern began to splutter and flare up, showing that the oil in the cup was running low.

    The Boy Land Boomer | Ralph Bonehill
  • You don't want to take advantage of her being sick and weakly now—now, you no need to flare up!

    Narcissa, or the Road to Rome | Laura E. Richards
  • Now, for some little flare-up you come racing here to use Elnora as a tool to spite the other girl.

    A Girl Of The Limberlost | Gene Stratton Porter

British Dictionary definitions for flare-up


  1. a sudden burst of fire or light

  2. informal a sudden burst of emotion or violence

verbflare up (intr, adverb)
  1. to burst suddenly into fire or light

  2. informal to burst into anger

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with flareup


Suddenly become angry, as in She flared up at the slightest provocation. This metaphoric expression, dating from the mid-1800s, transfers a sudden burst of flame to sudden rage.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.