verb (used without object)
to grow or develop quickly; flourish: The town burgeoned into a city. He burgeoned into a fine actor.
to begin to grow, as a bud; put forth buds, shoots, etc., as a plant (often followed by out, forth ).
verb (used with object)
to put forth, as buds.
a bud; sprout.
Also, bourgeon.

1275–1325; (noun) Middle English burjon, burion; shoot, bud < Anglo-French burjun, burg(e)on; Old French burjon < Vulgar Latin *burriōne(m), accusative of *burriō, derivative of Late Latin burra wool, fluff (compare bourrée, bureau), presumably from the down covering certain buds; (v.) Middle English burg(e)onen, borgen < Anglo-French, Old French, derivative of the noun

1. bloom, blossom, mushroom, expand.

The two senses of burgeon, “to bud” (The maples are burgeoning) and “to grow or flourish” (The suburbs around the city have been burgeoning under the impact of commercial growth), date from the 14th century. Today the sense “to grow or flourish” is the more common. Occasionally, objections are raised to the use of this sense, perhaps because of its popularity in journalistic writing.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
burgeon or bourgeon (ˈbɜːdʒən)
vb (often foll by forth or out)
1.  (of a plant) to sprout (buds)
2.  (intr; often foll by forth or out) to develop or grow rapidly; flourish
3.  a bud of a plant
[C13: from Old French burjon, perhaps ultimately from Late Latin burra shaggy cloth; from the downiness of certain buds]
bourgeon or bourgeon
[C13: from Old French burjon, perhaps ultimately from Late Latin burra shaggy cloth; from the downiness of certain buds]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

early 14c., from O.Fr. borjoner "to bud, sprout," from borjon "a bud, shoot, pimple," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Germanic. Related: Burgeoned; burgeoning.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Private colleges burgeon as public universities languish from lack of resources.
Better yet, new forms of worthwhile and sustainable enterprise burgeon now and
Expect the black market to burgeon again.
As nascent cultures burgeon, others inexorably come close to an end.
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