flour·ish (flûrĭsh, flŭr-)
v. flour·ished, flour·ish·ing, flour·ish·es
1. To grow well or luxuriantly; thrive: The crops flourished in the rich soil.
2. To do or fare well; prosper: "No village on the railroad failed to flourish" (John Kenneth Galbraith).
3. To be in a period of highest productivity, excellence, or influence: a poet who flourished in the tenth century.
4. To make bold, sweeping movements: The banner flourished in the wind.
To wield, wave, or exhibit dramatically.
1. A dramatic or stylish movement, as of waving or brandishing: "A few ... musicians embellish their performance with a flourish of the fingers" (Frederick D. Bennett).
2. An embellishment or ornamentation: a signature with a distinctive flourish.
3. An ostentatious act or gesture: a flourish of generosity.
4. Music A showy or ceremonious passage, such as a fanfare.
[Middle English florishen, from Old French florir, floriss-, from Vulgar Latin *flōrīre, from Latin flōrēre, to bloom, from flōs, flōr-, flower; see bhel-3 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: flourish, brandish, wave
These verbs mean to swing back and forth boldly and dramatically: flourished the newly signed contract; brandish a sword; waving a baton.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.