• WordNet 3.6
    • v flourish grow vigorously "The deer population in this town is thriving","business is booming"
    • v flourish move or swing back and forth "She waved her gun"
    • v flourish make steady progress; be at the high point in one's career or reach a high point in historical significance or importance "The new student is thriving"
    • n flourish (music) a short lively tune played on brass instruments "he entered to a flourish of trumpets","her arrival was greeted with a rousing fanfare"
    • n flourish the act of waving
    • n flourish a display of ornamental speech or language
    • n flourish a showy gesture "she entered with a great flourish"
    • n flourish an ornamental embellishment in writing
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Flourish A fanciful stroke of the pen or graver; a merely decorative figure. "The neat characters and flourishes of a Bible curiously printed."
    • Flourish A fantastic or decorative musical passage; a strain of triumph or bravado, not forming part of a regular musical composition; a cal; a fanfare. "A flourish , trumpets! strike alarum, drums!"
    • Flourish A flourishing condition; prosperity; vigor. "The Roman monarchy, in her highest flourish , never had the like."
    • Flourish Decoration; ornament; beauty. "The flourish of his sober youth
      Was the pride of naked truth."
    • Flourish Something made or performed in a fanciful, wanton, or vaunting manner, by way of ostentation, to excite admiration, etc.; ostentatious embellishment; ambitious copiousness or amplification; parade of words and figures; show; as, a flourish of rhetoric or of wit. "He lards with flourishes his long harangue."
    • Flourish The waving of a weapon or other thing; a brandishing; as, the flourish of a sword.
    • Flourish To adorn with flowers orbeautiful figures, either natural or artificial; to ornament with anything showy; to embellish.
    • Flourish To be prosperous; to increase in wealth, honor, comfort, happiness, or whatever is desirable; to thrive; to be prominent and influental; specifically, of authors, painters, etc., to be in a state of activity or production. "When all the workers of iniquity do flourish .""Bad men as frequently prosper and flourish , and that by the means of their wickedness.""We say
      Of those that held their heads above the crowd,
      They flourished then or then."
    • Flourish To boast; to vaunt; to brag.
    • Flourish To develop; to make thrive; to expand. "Bottoms of thread . . . which with a good needle, perhaps may be flourished into large works."
    • Flourish To embellish with the flowers of diction; to adorn with rhetorical figures; to grace with ostentatious eloquence; to set off with a parade of words. "Sith that the justice of your title to him
      Doth flourish the deceit."
    • Flourish To execute an irregular or fanciful strain of music, by way of ornament or prelude. "Why do the emperor's trumpets flourish thus?"
    • Flourish To grow luxuriantly; to increase and enlarge, as a healthy growing plant; a thrive. "A tree thrives and flourishes in a kindly . . . soil."
    • Flourish To make bold and sweeping, fanciful, or wanton movements, by way of ornament, parade, bravado, etc.; to play with fantastic and irregular motion. "Impetuous spread
      The stream, and smoking flourished o'er his head."
    • Flourish To make ornamental strokes with the pen; to write graceful, decorative figures.
    • Flourish To move in bold or irregular figures; to swing about in circles or vibrations by way of show or triumph; to brandish. "And flourishes his blade in spite of me."
    • Flourish To use florid language; to indulge in rhetorical figures and lofty expressions; to be flowery. "They dilate . . . and flourish long on little incidents."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • flourish To bloom; blossom; flower.
    • flourish To thrive under natural forces or conditions; be in a state of natural vigor or development; grow or be developed vigorously.
    • flourish To thrive under social or spiritual forces or relations; be vigorous in action or development; be successful or prosperous.
    • flourish To be in a state of active existence or actual exercise; exist in activity or practice.
    • flourish To make flourishes; use flowery or fanciful embellishments: as, to flourish in writing or speech.
    • flourish To move or be moved in fantastic, irregular figures; play with fantastic or wavering motion.
    • flourish In music: To play an elaborate, ostentatious passage, or to play in an ostentatious or showy manner.
    • flourish To boast; vaunt; brag.
    • flourish To shake; be brandished.
    • flourish To cause to bloom; cause to thrive or grow luxuriantly.
    • flourish To cause to prosper; preserve.
    • flourish To embellish with flourishes, as handwriting, diction, etc.; adorn with flowery or showy words, figures, or lines; in general, to ornament profusely in any way: as, to flourish a signature.
    • flourish To finish with care; enlarge and embellish; elaborate.
    • flourish To brandish; hold in the hand and shake or wave about; hence, to display ostentatiously; flaunt: as, to flourish a sword or a whip; to flourish one's wealth or finery; to flourish one's authority.
    • flourish To gloss over; give a fair appearance to.
    • n flourish A flourishing condition.
    • n flourish Showy adornment; decoration; ornament.
    • n flourish Ostentatious embellishment; ambitious copiousness or amplification; especially, parade of words and figures; rhetorical display.
    • n flourish A figure formed by bold or fanciful lines or strokes of the pen or graver: as, the flourishes about an initial letter.
    • n flourish A brandishing; the waving of something held in the hand: as, the flourish of a sword, a cane, or a whip.
    • n flourish In music: An elaborate but unmeaning passage for display, or as a preparation for real performance.
    • n flourish A trumpet-call; a fanfare.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Flourish flur′ish to thrive luxuriantly: to be prosperous: to use copious and flowery language: to move in fantastic figures: to display ostentatiously:
    • v.t Flourish to adorn with flourishes or ornaments: to swing about by way of show or triumph:
    • n Flourish decoration: showy splendour: a figure made by a bold stroke of the pen: the waving of a weapon or other thing: a parade of words: a musical prelude: a trumpet-call
    • v.i Flourish flur′ish (mus.) to play ostentatious passages, or ostentatiously: to play a trumpet-call: to make ornamental strokes with the pen: to boast or brag
    • v.t Flourish (Shak.) to gloss over
    • ***


  • William Shakespeare
    “Brevity is the soul of wit, and tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes.”
  • Charles Caleb Colton
    “Commerce flourishes by circumstances, precarious, transitory, contingent, almost as the winds and waves that bring it to our shores.”
  • Logan Pearsall Smith
    “Only among people who think no evil can Evil monstrously flourish.”
  • George Crabbe
    George Crabbe
    “Our farmers round, well pleased with constant gain, like other farmers, flourish and complain.”
  • William C. Menninger
    William C. Menninger
    “Hate can only flourish where love is absent.”
  • Dean William R. Inge
    “Literature flourishes best when it is half trade and half an art.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. florisshen, flurisshen, OF. flurir, F. fleurir, fr. L. florere, to bloom, fr. flos, floris, flower. See Flower, and -ish


In literature:

With the territorial expansion came a domestic flourishing in the arts and an increase in trade.
"Area Handbook for Bulgaria" by Eugene K. Keefe, Violeta D. Baluyut, William Giloane, Anne K. Long, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole
Are your flocks and herds flourishing?
"Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China During the years 1844-5-6. Volume 1 [of 2]" by Evariste Regis Huc
During the same century the "pastoral drama" flourished in Italy.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 7" by Various
Miss Martineau uses the title, "The hour and the man," for her romance of the liberation of this once flourishing island.
"The West Indies and the Spanish Main [1899]" by James Rodway
There is, besides, an infant school equally flourishing, and no poor Jew is relieved unless he sends his children to school.
"The Religious Life of London" by J. Ewing Ritchie
The institution was flourishing in every respect.
"Speeches and Addresses of H. R. H. the Prince of Wales: 1863-1888" by Edward VII
In the interior of the Delta are many flourishing towns, the largest being Tanta, pop.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 9, Slice 1" by Various
El Obeid, at the time of which I speak, was an important and flourishing city, with a population of about 100,000 souls.
"Ten Years' Captivity in the Mahdi's Camp 1882-1892" by F. R. Wingate
It had reopened already with a flourish.
"With Wolseley to Kumasi" by F.S. Brereton
The live-stock industry was introduced by the Franciscans and flourished exceedingly.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 5, Slice 1" by Various

In poetry:

While I dream I hear the music
That of happiness foretells,
Like the flourishing of trumpets
And the sound of marriage bells.
"Two Roses" by Hattie Howard
The Winter past, reviving flowers
Anew shall paint the plain;
The woods shall hear the voice of Spring,
And flourish green again:
"The Complaint of Nature" by John Logan
'Sweet bluebells used to flourish there
And tall trees waved on high,
And through their ever sounding leaves
The soft wind used to sigh.
"Alexander And Zenobia" by Anne Bronte
Frozen in fate's dark blizzard,
felled to the earth —- quite mirthless —-
I'd flourish were my Father's
informing breath to warm me!
"The Pipit" by Jonas Hallgrimsson
But Muriel did not send the picture back;
She kept it; while her beauty and her babe
Flourished together, and in health and peace
She lived.
"Laurance - [Part 3]" by Jean Ingelow
"Mary hath chosen that good part,
To hear my word and do my will,
Which shall not from her trusting heart
Be taken." It shall flourish still.
"To Mary" by David John Scott

In news:

Nearly 16 years after the ravages of Hurricane Fran and decades of development, Raleigh’s tree canopy is flourishing.
Caruso Affiliated said it has begun construction on 8500 Burton Way, an upscale residential and ground-floor retail property featuring Trader Joe's, located in a flourishing region of Los Angeles, adjacent to Beverly Hills.
"Flourishing communities in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia have grown considerably over recent years and are now beginning to challenge Silicon Valley's domination in technology innovation," the report said.
Lemons, Limes, and Oranges All Flourish in Santa Barbara.
Portland finishing with a flourish, PawSox with best playoff chances.
When spring blooms, Queens flourishes with activity.
Past AAAI conferences have hosted much seminal work that has since evolved and flourished.
Suicide flourishing in the Nevada desert .
You might be able to survive in most but flourish only in a few.
Final flourish for Queen's celebrations.
Melted chocolate adds a beautiful (and tasty) flourish that can transform even store-bought cookies.
McIlroy's late flourish not enough to hide disappointment .
In the 1970s, as the market flourished, professional gardeners asked if they could prune dogwoods in people's yards.
After taking up lacrosse at DHS, the senior has helped the Penguins program flourish in his four years on the squad.
The mag notes that while Lopez and Tyler's endorsement opportunities and public personas flourished (Tyler shilled for Burger King, while J.