- to move along in a stream: The river flowed slowly to the sea.
- to circulate: blood flowing through one's veins.
- to stream or well forth: Warmth flows from the sun.
- to issue or proceed from a source: Orders flowed from the office.
- to menstruate.
- to come or go as in a stream: A constant stream of humanity flowed by.
- to proceed continuously and smoothly: Melody flowed from the violin.
- to hang loosely at full length: Her hair flowed over her shoulders.
- to abound in something: The tavern flowed with wine.
- to rise and advance, as the tide (opposed to ebb).
- to cause or permit to flow: to flow paint on a wall before brushing.
- to cover with water or other liquid; flood.
- an act of flowing.
- movement in or as if in a stream.
- the rate of flowing.
- the volume of fluid that flows through a passage of any given section during a unit of time: Oil flow of the well was 500 barrels a day.
- something that flows; stream.
- an outpouring or discharge of something, as in a stream: a flow of blood.
- an overflowing; flood.
- the rise of the tide (opposed to ebb).
- Machinery. progressive distortion of a metal object under continuous service at high temperature.
- Physics. the transference of energy: heat flow.
Origin of flow
SynonymsSee more synonyms for flow on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for flow
Ebb and flow, checks and balances, the center would hold, et cetera.A Veteran’s View: NYC Cold War Between Cops and City Hall
December 29, 2014
But before a new tide of tourists can flow from Miami to Havana, Cuba will need to build more runways.Goodbye, Bahamas. Hello, Havana!
December 18, 2014
If DNSIB can target these 100 “bad” gun stores, it could reduce the flow of guns into the hands of criminals.Can God Beat the NRA?
November 13, 2014
Analyzing the ebb and flow of the race, Howie said Weiland has positive momentum but Rounds is collapsing.South Dakota's Bizarre Four-Way (Senate Election, That Is)
October 15, 2014
Now, there are no cliffhangers, just an expectation from the audience that the blood will flow.Sex, Blood and Maroon 5: Pop Culture’s Wounds Run Deep
October 3, 2014
He acquired a general knowledge of the ebb and flow of popular stocks.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
We are channels through which truth must flow to our patients.
The blood seemed to flow back to my heart as I realised what I had done.
Have they considered the awful consequences likely to flow from their representations of Virtue?The Uncommercial Traveller
The tears used to flow limpid and pearl-like from her grey, questioning eyes.My Double Life
- (of liquids) to move or be conveyed as in a stream
- (of blood) to circulate around the body
- to move or progress freely as if in a streamthe crowd flowed into the building
- to proceed or be produced continuously and effortlesslyideas flowed from her pen
- to show or be marked by smooth or easy movement
- to hang freely or looselyher hair flowed down her back
- to be present in abundancewine flows at their parties
- an informal word for menstruate
- (of tide water) to advance or riseCompare ebb (def. 1)
- (tr) to cover or swamp with liquid; flood
- (of rocks such as slate) to yield to pressure without breaking so that the structure and arrangement of the constituent minerals are altered
- the act, rate, or manner of flowinga fast flow
- a continuous stream or discharge
- continuous progression
- the advancing of the tide
- a stream of molten or solidified lava
- the amount of liquid that flows in a given time
- an informal word for menstruation
- a marsh or swamp
- an inlet or basin of the sea
- (capital when part of a name)Scapa Flow
- flow of spirits natural happiness
Word Origin and History for flow
Old English flowan "to flow, stream, issue; become liquid, melt; abound, overflow" (class VII strong verb; past tense fleow, past participle flowen), from Proto-Germanic *flo- (cf. Middle Dutch vloyen, Dutch vloeien "to flow," Old Norse floa "to deluge," Old High German flouwen "to rinse, wash"), probably from PIE *pleu- "flow, float" (see pluvial). The weak form predominated from 14c., but strong past participle flown is occasionally attested through 18c. Related: Flowed; flowing.
mid-15c., "action of flowing," from flow (v.). Meaning "amount that flows" is from 1807. Flow chart attested from 1920.
- To move or run smoothly with unbroken continuity.
- To circulate, as the blood in the body.
- To menstruate.
- The smooth motion characteristic of fluids.
- The volume of fluid or gas passing a given point per unit of time.
- Menstrual discharge.
Idioms and Phrases with flow
see ebb and flow; go with the flow.