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Definition flourish


From Middle English floryschen, from Old French floriss-, stem of some conjugated forms of florir (compare modern French fleurir), from Vulgar Latin *florīre, from Latin flōreō (“I bloom”) (and conjugation partly from flōrēscō), from flōs (“flower”). See flower + -ish.


flourish (third-person singular simple present flourishes, present participle flourishing, simple past and past participle flourished)

  1. (intransitive) To thrive or grow well.
  2. (intransitive) To prosper or fare well.
  3. (intransitive) To be in a period of greatest influence.
  4. (transitive) To develop; to make thrive; to expand.
  5. (transitive) To make bold, sweeping movements with.
  6. (intransitive) To make bold and sweeping, fanciful, or wanton movements, by way of ornament, parade, bravado, etc.; to play with fantastic and irregular motion.
  7. (intransitive) To use florid language; to indulge in rhetorical figures and lofty expressions.
  8. (intransitive) To make ornamental strokes with the pen; to write graceful, decorative figures.
  9. (transitive) To adorn with beautiful figures or rhetoric; to ornament with anything showy; to embellish.
  10. (intransitive) To execute an irregular or fanciful strain of music, by way of ornament or prelude.
  11. (intransitive, obsolete) To boast; to vaunt; to brag.


flourish (plural flourishes)

  1. A dramatic gesture such as the waving of a flag.
  2. An ornamentation.
  3. (music) A ceremonious passage such as a fanfare.
  4. (architecture) A decorative embellishment on a building.

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