[flur-ish, fluhr-]
verb (used without object)
to be in a vigorous state; thrive: a period in which art flourished.
to be in its or in one's prime; be at the height of fame, excellence, influence, etc.
to be successful; prosper.
to grow luxuriantly, or thrive in growth, as a plant.
to make dramatic, sweeping gestures: Flourish more when you act out the king's great death scene.
to add embellishments and ornamental lines to writing, letters, etc.
to sound a trumpet call or fanfare.
verb (used with object)
to brandish dramatically; gesticulate with: a conductor flourishing his baton for the crescendo.
to decorate or embellish (writing, a page of script, etc.) with sweeping or fanciful curves or lines.
an act or instance of brandishing.
an ostentatious display.
a decoration or embellishment, especially in writing: He added a few flourishes to his signature.
Rhetoric. a parade of fine language; an expression used merely for effect.
a trumpet call or fanfare.
a condition or period of thriving: in full flourish.

1250–1300; Middle English florisshen < Middle French floriss-, long stem of florirLatin flōrēre to bloom, derivative of flōs flower

flourisher, noun
outflourish, verb (used with object)

1. grow, increase. See succeed. 9. ornament. 12. ornament, adornment.

1. fade, decline.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
flourish (ˈflʌrɪʃ)
1.  (intr) to thrive; prosper
2.  (intr) to be at the peak of condition
3.  (intr) to be healthy: plants flourish in the light
4.  to wave or cause to wave in the air with sweeping strokes
5.  to display or make a display
6.  to play (a fanfare, etc) on a musical instrument
7.  (intr) to embellish writing, characters, etc, with ornamental strokes
8.  to add decorations or embellishments to (speech or writing)
9.  (intr) an obsolete word for blossom
10.  the act of waving or brandishing
11.  a showy gesture: he entered with a flourish
12.  an ornamental embellishment in writing
13.  a display of ornamental language or speech
14.  a grandiose passage of music
15.  an ostentatious display or parade
16.  obsolete
 a.  the state of flourishing
 b.  the state of flowering
[C13: from Old French florir, ultimately from Latin flōrēre to flower, from flōs a flower]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

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; flourishing.
The noun meaning "literary or rhetorical embellishment" is from c.1600.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The hipsters were born in the dot-com boom and flourished in the real estate
The theory journal carried out the aims of advanced research and flourished
  under the terms of the academic revolution.
Horses evolved stronger, enamel-protected teeth and flourished.
Yet this flat-rate environment survived and even flourished as millions of
  people flocked online.
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