flourish
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /ˈflʌɹ.ɪʃ/
  • (GA) IPA: /ˈflʌɹ.ɪʃ/, /ˈflɝ.ɪʃ/
    • (hypercorrection) IPA: /ˈflʊɹ.ɪʃ/
Verb

flourish (flourishes, present participle flourishing; past and past participle flourished)

  1. (intransitive) To thrive or grow well.
    The barley flourished in the warm weather.
  2. (intransitive) To prosper or fare well.
    The town flourished with the coming of the railway.
    The cooperation flourished as the customers rushed in the business.
    • Bad men as frequently prosper and flourish, and that by the means of their wickedness.
  3. (intransitive) To be in a period of greatest influence.
    His writing flourished before the war.
  4. (transitive) To develop; to make thrive; to expand.
    • 1623, Francis Bacon, A Discourse of a War with Spain
      Bottoms of thread […] which with a good needle, perhaps may be flourished into large works.
  5. (transitive) To make bold, sweeping movements with.
    They flourished the banner as they stormed the palace.
  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.
    • 1728, [Alexander Pope], “(please specify )”, in The Dunciad. An Heroic Poem. In Three Books, Dublin; London: Reprinted for A. Dodd, OCLC 1033416756 ↗:
  7. (intransitive) To use florid language; to indulge in rhetorical figures and lofty expressions.
    • They dilate […] and flourish long on little incidents.
  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.
    • With shadowy verdure flourish'd high,
      A sudden youth the groves enjoy.
    • c. 1603-1604, William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act IV, Scene 1
      To bring you thus together, 'tis no sin, Sith that the justice of your title to him Doth flourish the deceit.
  10. (intransitive) To execute an irregular or fanciful strain of music, by way of ornament or prelude.
    • c. 1588–1593, William Shakespeare, “The Lamentable Tragedy of Titus Andronicus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act IV, scene ii]:
      Why do the emperor's trumpets flourish thus?
  11. (intransitive, obsolete) To boast; to vaunt; to brag.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations
  • French: fleurir
  • German: aufblühen, eine Blütezeit haben, einen Höhepunkt erreichen, kulminieren, großen Erfolg haben
  • Italian: fiorire
Translations Noun

flourish (plural flourishes)

  1. A dramatic gesture such as the waving of a flag.
    With many flourishes of the captured banner, they marched down the avenue.
    • 1851 November 13, Herman Melville, chapter 1, in Moby-Dick; or, The Whale, 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers; London: Richard Bentley, OCLC 57395299 ↗:
      This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
  2. An ornamentation.
    His signature ended with a flourish.
  3. (music) A ceremonious passage such as a fanfare.
    The trumpets blew a flourish as they entered the church.
  4. (architecture) A decorative embellishment on a building.
Translations Translations Translations Translations


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