c.1300, "to blossom, grow," from O.Fr. floriss-
, stem of florir
, from L. florere
"to bloom, blossom, flower," from flos
"a flower" (see flora
). Metaphoric sense of "thrive" is mid-14c. Meaning "to brandish (a weapon)" first attested late 14c. Related: Flourished
. The noun meaning "literary or rhetorical embellishment" is from c.1600.