[ flur-ish, fluhr- ]
/ ˈflɜr ɪʃ, ˈflʌr- /

verb (used without object)

verb (used with object)

to brandish dramatically; gesticulate with: a conductor flourishing his baton for the crescendo.
to decorate or embellish (writing, a page of script, etc.) with sweeping or fanciful curves or lines.


Nearby words

  1. flour,
  2. flour beetle,
  3. flour mill,
  4. flour mite,
  5. flour moth,
  6. flourishing,
  7. floury,
  8. flout,
  9. flow,
  10. flow breccia

Origin of flourish

1250–1300; Middle English florisshen < Middle French floriss-, long stem of florirLatin flōrēre to bloom, derivative of flōs flower

1. grow, increase. See succeed. 9. ornament. 12. ornament, adornment.

Related formsflour·ish·er, nounout·flour·ish, verb (used with object)

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flourish

British Dictionary definitions for flourish


/ (ˈflʌrɪʃ) /



Derived Formsflourisher, noun

Word Origin for flourish

C13: from Old French florir, ultimately from Latin flōrēre to flower, from flōs a flower

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 flourish
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper