Definition of flourish in English:


Line breaks: flour|ish
Pronunciation: /ˈflʌrɪʃ


  • 1 [no object] (Of a living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly congenial environment: wild plants flourish on the banks of the lake
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    • In the summer months it smelled of warm spices and sweet lavender from the growing gardens where the plants flourished and blossomed.
    • What kind of first year it experiences in a new territory can make the difference between an invading species of mushroom flourishing or failing.
    • Years later people still say to the daughter that the plant is flourishing.
    grow, thrive, prosper, grow/do well, develop, burgeon, increase, multiply, proliferate; spring up, shoot up, bloom, blossom, bear fruit, burst forth, run riot; put on a spurt, boom, mushroom
  • 1.1Develop rapidly and successfully: the organization has continued to flourish
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    • Buddhism itself, however, continues to flourish, having successfully responded to the challenge of colonialism and adapted to modern democracy.
    • For basketball to flourish yet more successfully in England it had to develop a solid infrastructure, said Nelson.
    • It was a time of rapid economic growth for the new country and the university flourished and rapidly expanded.
  • 1.2 [with adverbial] Be working or at the height of one’s career during a specified period: the caricaturist and wit who flourished in the early years of this century
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    • The date of the period in which Fukuno flourished is not mentioned in the certificate quoted above.
    • Having said that, the Memoirs, along with the substantial introduction, do give readers the flavour of the Regency period during which Harriette flourished.
    • It is evident from the accounts already given that Chingempin flourished at a later period, and that Miura was his contemporary.
  • 2 [with object] Wave (something) about to attract attention: ‘Happy New Year!’ he yelled, flourishing a bottle of whisky
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    • The opening story, Celia, is a cheerless piece about a woman who will go to bed with anyone who flourishes a bottle.
    • At the same time he opened them to a procession of shonks, one of whom went around the world flourishing a letter signed by Cairns authorising him to raise funds for the Australian government.
    • Now the water was up to his chest and his right arm flourished the vodka bottle over his head.
    brandish, wave, shake, wield, raise, hold aloft; swing, twirl, wag, swish, flap; display, exhibit, flaunt, vaunt, parade, show off


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  • 1A bold or extravagant gesture or action, made especially to attract attention: with a flourish, she ushered them inside
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    • With a flourish and a gesture that was almost comical in its theatrics, she ignored my queen and advanced a totally unconnected pawn.
    • With a flourish he stood, gesturing for me to stand as well.
    • Now, pigeons sit on his shoulders, and passing poets salute him with a flourish of the walking stick.
  • 1.1An elaborate rhetorical or literary expression.
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    • Being mere insiders, uncritically, may often result in the production of mindless celebratory writing, rhetorical flourishes, and populist clichés - so easy to imbibe and so banal.
    • Both strategies are crowned by a dramatic rhetorical flourish in which a final gender reversal is made to reveal the fundamental hypocrisy of men who would deny women access to learning.
    • But this is just a rhetorical flourish - he doesn't really mean it literally.
  • 1.2An ornamental flowing curve in handwriting or scrollwork: letters with an emphatic flourish beneath them
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    • Unnecessary curves, strokes, flourishes, dots and lines can prove to be counter-productive, he says.
    • Papa's script was so beautiful it was almost illegible and now, when I see something he wrote, those flowing tails and flourishes make my throat close.
    • My handwriting was so much more simple than her flourishes and sweeps and big spacing.
  • 2An impressive and successful act or period: United produced a late second-half flourish
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    • Arcand occasionally achieves some impressive directorial flourishes but he is severely constrained by his self-imposed limitation of imitating a string of dreadful TV talk shows.
    • A number of substitutions were then made by both sides before an impressive late flourish by Crettyard Gaels left just four points between the sides at the finish.
    • Okay, so they seem to only have a knack for the final flourish; and it would be nice if they actually won a series for a change, but I'll take whatever they can muster at this point.
  • 3 Music A fanfare played by brass instruments: a flourish of trumpets
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    • The Basque Gabriel's Message (again in an arrangement by Harvey) is properly festive with flourishes in the trumpets to accompany the Annunciation.
    • By contrast, St Cecilia sweeps in on joyous flourishes from trumpets and drums, with rushing strings as buoyant as those that welcome Handel's Queen of Sheba.
    • ‘Eskimo Lament’ comes first, drenched in sombre piano and plucked guitar, before the arrival of gorgeous harmonies and trumpet flourishes.
  • 3.1An ornate musical passage.
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    • As sudden musical flourishes precede and follow more tentative, delicate passages, so hope and anxiety seem to dance across the song's brightly colored sonic eggshell floor.
    • They turn out a flamboyant blend of jazz, folk, funk and classical guitar, with flourishes of Latin acoustic guitar of a most impressive standard.
    • The subtle string flourishes and guitar parts in the background are what really make the song, though, as Rouse's voice is merely serviceable in the understated verses.
  • 3.2An extemporized addition played especially at the beginning or end of a composition.
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    • For the songwriter looking to add more than a few twists to his compositions, or the arranger looking to add jazz flourishes to otherwise straightforward pop tunes, this certainly could be a fun book to consider.
    • For a single string instrument to take centre stage, as opposed to a mere flourish or adornment of a greater composition, it needs depth and commanding presence to fill the space.
    • With a flourish and dramatic double-punch at the keys the music has taken over the room and his finale is performed in awed silence as a few people sip at their drinks, eyes affixed to the young man's back.



More example sentences
  • Keep practicing, and eventually you will be a master flourisher.
  • You're a really talented flourisher, keep up the awesome work!
  • I disagree that he needs the ball at his feet much, I don't think he's ever been that kind of player - he's more of a finisher than a flourisher.


Middle English: from Old French floriss-, lengthened stem of florir, based on Latin florere, from flos, flor- 'a flower'. The noun senses 'ornamental curve' and 'florid expression' come from an obsolete sense of the verb, 'adorn' (originally with flowers).

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