[flur-i-shing, fluhr-]


growing vigorously; thriving; prosperous: a flourishing little business.

Origin of flourishing

Middle English word dating back to 1250–1300; see origin at flourish, -ing2
Related formsflour·ish·ing·ly, adverbun·flour·ish·ing, adjective


[flur-ish, fluhr-]

verb (used without object)

to be in a vigorous state; thrive: a period in which art flourished.
to be in its or in one's prime; be at the height of fame, excellence, influence, etc.
to be successful; prosper.
to grow luxuriantly, or thrive in growth, as a plant.
to make dramatic, sweeping gestures: Flourish more when you act out the king's great death scene.
to add embellishments and ornamental lines to writing, letters, etc.
to sound a trumpet call or fanfare.

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.


an act or instance of brandishing.
an ostentatious display.
a decoration or embellishment, especially in writing: He added a few flourishes to his signature.
Rhetoric. a parade of fine language; an expression used merely for effect.
a trumpet call or fanfare.
a condition or period of thriving: in full flourish.

Origin of flourish

1250–1300; Middle English florisshen < Middle French floriss-, long stem of florirLatin flōrēre to bloom, derivative of flōs flower
Related formsflour·ish·er, nounout·flour·ish, verb (used with object)

Synonyms for flourish

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

Antonyms for flourish

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

Examples from the Web for flourishing

Contemporary Examples of flourishing

Historical Examples of flourishing

British Dictionary definitions for flourishing



(intr) to thrive; prosper
(intr) to be at the peak of condition
(intr) to be healthyplants flourish in the light
to wave or cause to wave in the air with sweeping strokes
to display or make a display
to play (a fanfare, etc) on a musical instrument
(intr) to embellish writing, characters, etc, with ornamental strokes
to add decorations or embellishments to (speech or writing)
(intr) an obsolete word for blossom


the act of waving or brandishing
a showy gesturehe entered with a flourish
an ornamental embellishment in writing
a display of ornamental language or speech
a grandiose passage of music
an ostentatious display or parade
  1. the state of flourishing
  2. the state of flowering
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 flourishing



c.1500, "a blossom," from flourish (v.). Meaning "ostentatious waving of a weapon" is from 1550s; that of "literary or rhetorical embellishment" is from c.1600.



c.1300, "to blossom, grow," from Old French floriss-, stem of florir "blossom, flower, bloom, flourish," from Latin florere "to bloom, blossom, flower," figuratively "to flourish, be prosperous," from flos "a flower" (see flora).

Metaphoric sense of "thrive" is mid-14c. Meaning "to brandish (a weapon)" first attested late 14c. Related: Flourished; flourishing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper