- To grow luxuriantly; to increase and enlarge, as a healthy growing plant; a thrive."A tree thrives and flourishes in a kindly . . . soil." [Bp. Horne.]
- 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." [Ps. xcii 7]"Bad men as frequently prosper and flourish, and that by the means of their wickedness." [Nelson.]"We say Of those that held their heads above the crowd, They flourished then or then." [Tennyson.]
- To use florid language; to indulge in rhetorical figures and lofty expressions; to be flowery."They dilate . . . and flourish long on little incidents." [J. Watts.]
- 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." [Pope.]
- To make ornamental strokes with the pen; to write graceful, decorative figures.
- To execute an irregular or fanciful strain of music, by way of ornament or prelude."Why do the emperor's trumpets flourish thus?" [Shak.]
- To boast; to vaunt; to brag.
Etymology: OE. florisshen flurisshen, OF. flurir, F. fleurir, fr. L. florere to bloom, fr. flos floris, flower. See Flower, and -ish