[ flur-ish, fluhr- ]
See synonyms for: flourishflourishedflourishing on Thesaurus.com

verb (used without object)
  1. to be in a vigorous state; thrive: a period in which art flourished.

  2. to be in its or in one's prime; be at the height of fame, excellence, influence, etc.

  1. to be successful; prosper.

  2. to grow luxuriantly, or thrive in growth, as a plant.

  3. to make dramatic, sweeping gestures: Flourish more when you act out the king's great death scene.

  4. to add embellishments and ornamental lines to writing, letters, etc.

  5. to sound a trumpet call or fanfare.

verb (used with object)
  1. to brandish dramatically; gesticulate with: a conductor flourishing his baton for the crescendo.

  2. to decorate or embellish (writing, a page of script, etc.) with sweeping or fanciful curves or lines.

  1. an act or instance of brandishing.

  2. an ostentatious display.

  1. a decoration or embellishment, especially in writing: He added a few flourishes to his signature.

  2. Rhetoric. a parade of fine language; an expression used merely for effect.

  3. a trumpet call or fanfare.

  4. a condition or period of thriving: in full flourish.

Origin of flourish

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English florisshen, from Middle French floriss-, long stem of florir, ultimately from Latin flōrēre “to bloom,” derivative of flōs flower

synonym study For flourish

1. See succeed.

Other words for flourish

Opposites for flourish

Other words from flourish

  • flour·ish·er, noun
  • outflourish, verb (used with object)

Words Nearby flourish

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use flourish in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for flourish


/ (ˈflʌrɪʃ) /

  1. (intr) to thrive; prosper

  2. (intr) to be at the peak of condition

  1. (intr) to be healthy: plants flourish in the light

  2. to wave or cause to wave in the air with sweeping strokes

  3. to display or make a display

  4. to play (a fanfare, etc) on a musical instrument

  5. (intr) to embellish writing, characters, etc, with ornamental strokes

  6. to add decorations or embellishments to (speech or writing)

  7. (intr) an obsolete word for blossom

  1. the act of waving or brandishing

  2. a showy gesture: he entered with a flourish

  1. an ornamental embellishment in writing

  2. a display of ornamental language or speech

  3. a grandiose passage of music

  4. an ostentatious display or parade

  5. obsolete

    • the state of flourishing

    • the state of flowering

Origin of flourish

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

Derived forms of flourish

  • flourisher, noun

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