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flow

Line breaks: flow
Pronunciation: /fləʊ
 
/

Definition of flow in English:

verb

[no object]
1(Of a liquid, gas, or electricity) move steadily and continuously in a current or stream: from here the river flows north ventilation channels keep the air flowing
More example sentences
  • I feel like low voltage electricity is flowing through my blood, gentle convulsions rippling through my skin and muscle, as my body is making its own judgment of the situation.
  • The external fuel tank, for instance, is full of oxygen and hydrogen cooled to - 400 F. to make the gases flow as liquids.
  • I plug it in, set it, and as long as there is electricity flowing through power lines, it will run forever it seems.
Synonyms
run, move, go along, course, pass, proceed, glide, slide, drift, circulate, trickle, dribble, drizzle, spill, gurgle, babble, ripple;
stream, swirl, surge, sweep, gush, cascade, pour, roll, rush, whirl, well, spurt, spout, squirt, spew, jet;
leak, seep, ooze, percolate, drip
1.1(Of the sea or a tidal river) move towards the land; rise. Compare with ebb.
Example sentences
  • It is in an intimate valley formed by a stream flowing into a tidal basin.
  • Now the calm river flows between the backwaters and wooded bluffs in an oversized valley.
  • The locals said that the backwaters flow in at different times each day.
2 [with adverbial of direction] Go from one place to another in a steady stream, typically in large numbers: people flowed into the huge courtyard
More example sentences
  • Last Thursday, a steady trickle of supporters flowed into the stadium shop to buy tickets for today's game against Rangers at Pittodrie.
  • A steady stream of regulars too started flowing in, delighted at eating more, paying less.
  • Other assistance and offers of help keep flowing in.
2.1Proceed or be produced continuously and effortlessly: talk flowed freely around the table
More example sentences
  • Wa Luruli's film has a light touch and the story flows effortlessly.
  • The names of roads, intersections, and neighbourhoods in several cities flow effortlessly from his mouth.
  • Novels seemed to flow effortlessly out of him, including masterpieces such as Crome Yellow and Point Counter Point.
Synonyms
originate, emanate, spring, emerge;
be caused by, be brought about by, be produced by, originate in
2.2(Of clothing or hair) hang loosely in an easy and graceful manner: her red hair flowed over her shoulders
More example sentences
  • His long black hair covered his white feathered cape, and her long black hair flowed over her white deerskin dress.
  • Her long blonde hair flowed over her shoulders and the tight black leather outfit showed off her aforementioned attributes quite well.
  • Dark hair flowed over her shoulders, down to the small of her back.
2.3Be available in copious quantities: their talk and laughter grew louder as the excellent brandy flowed
More example sentences
  • Logically, all OEMs covet a piece of the prestige markets as that is where the money flows in great quantities.
  • There is more information available, more information flowing.
  • The production models are now flowing and available for purchase, and we were pleased to get one of the first production units available.
2.4 (flow from) Be caused by: there are certain advantages that may flow from that decision
More example sentences
  • No breach of a Convention right has been alleged to arise as a result of the consequences flowing from the mistakes which were made in these cases.
  • In our submission, that directly flows from the result of the decision in Lim.
  • The principal point in issue flows from the fact that Braymist, the vendor, was not in existence at the time the agreement was signed.
3(Of a solid) undergo a permanent change of shape under stress, without melting.

noun

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1 [in singular] The action or fact of moving along in a steady, continuous stream: the flow of water into the pond
More example sentences
  • The tap was left running and the steady flow of water crept across the wooden floor.
  • And so firefighters were at the ready with what they dubbed a foam attack, a steady flow of foam and water to blanket the blaze and hopefully smother it.
  • Further reading turns up that a steady flow of water acted as a moderator for the reaction, keeping it at a low but steady burn in a sustained reaction.
1.1The rate or speed at which something flows: under the ford the river backs up, giving a deep sluggish flow
More example sentences
  • At low shear rates, the flow can promote RBC aggregation, whereas, at higher shear rates it rather has a dispersing effect.
  • The chemical composition of the gastric contents regulates the bulk emptying rate, the flow being slowed especially by lipids.
  • But residents said that, in the meantime, the agency should dredge the river to speed up the flow and reduce the risks.
1.2The rise of a tide or a river. Compare with ebb.
Example sentences
  • They would not have had to worry about the river flow at all.
  • They will also use the tide flow to kite away from you.
  • Remember that the ray will use their width broadside against the tide during the fight and you need the power to drag them back against the tide flow.
2A steady, continuous stream or supply of something: a constant flow of people the flow of words was interrupted by painful sobs
More example sentences
  • His intensity is constant, the flow of words an eternal torrent.
  • In the staging area of an overseas theater of operations, the flow of supplies competes with the flow of vehicles to add to congestion and confusion.
  • In wartime, the amount of stocks in any area might be affected by air raid damage, or the flow of supplies might be reduced temporarily by transport difficulties.
Synonyms
movement, motion, course, passage, current, flux, drift, circulation;
stream, swirl, surge, sweep, gush, roll, rush, welling, spate, tide, spurt, squirt, jet, outpouring, outflow;
trickle, leak, seepage, ooze, percolation, drip
3Scottish A watery swamp; a morass.
4The gradual permanent deformation of a solid under stress, without melting.
Example sentences
  • Analysis of seismic waves show that the material that makes up the mantle behaves as a plastic - a substance with the properties of a solid but flows under pressure.
  • It involves the application of a compressive stress, which exceeds the flow stress of the metal.
  • As the degree of dynamic recovery increases, the hot flow stress decreases and the ductility increases.

Origin

Old English flōwan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vloeien, also to flood.

Phrases

go with the flow

1
informal Be relaxed and accept a situation, rather than trying to alter or control it.
Example sentences
  • I've also done taking it easy and letting ‘my career’, such as it is, just kind of drift along, out of my control, going with the flow in a who-knows-what's around-the-corner kind of way.
  • So, it's far better to go with the flow, or rather the crawl.
  • It wouldn't be much of a movie if the main character simply went with the flow and accepted life's choices.

in full flow

2
Talking fluently and showing no sign of stopping.
Example sentences
  • He is a reserved man and in any case, G.P. in full flow took some stopping.
  • I've been craving WORDS all day and now I'm in full flow; there is apparently no stopping me.
2.1Performing vigorously and enthusiastically.
Example sentences
  • Expect Pat and the lads to be in full flow performing a wide range of songs for dancing, including their popular hit, The Old Timers' Waltz.
  • Intercut are preparations for a mission, footage of jets whooshing off and flying in, the guys taking time out in the rec room, praying, at one point, even with a full gospel service in full flow.
  • The performer in Rachel is in full flow in Cosi Fan Tutte after a difficult opening night.

Definition of flow in:

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