moving in or as in a stream: flowing water.
proceeding smoothly or easily; facile: flowing language.
long, smooth, graceful, and without sudden interruption or change of direction: flowing lines; flowing gestures.
hanging loosely at full length: flowing hair.
abounding; having in excess: a land flowing with milk and honey.

before 950; Middle English flowynge, Old English flōwende. See flow, -ing2

flowingly, adverb
flowingness, noun
self-flowing, adjective
unflowing, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged


verb (used without object)
to move along in a stream: The river flowed slowly to the sea.
to circulate: blood flowing through one's veins.
to stream or well forth: Warmth flows from the sun.
to issue or proceed from a source: Orders flowed from the office.
to menstruate.
to come or go as in a stream: A constant stream of humanity flowed by.
to proceed continuously and smoothly: Melody flowed from the violin.
to hang loosely at full length: Her hair flowed over her shoulders.
to abound in something: The tavern flowed with wine.
to rise and advance, as the tide (opposed to ebb ).
verb (used with object)
to cause or permit to flow: to flow paint on a wall before brushing.
to cover with water or other liquid; flood.
an act of flowing.
movement in or as if in a stream.
the rate of flowing.
the volume of fluid that flows through a passage of any given section during a unit of time: Oil flow of the well was 500 barrels a day.
something that flows; stream.
an outpouring or discharge of something, as in a stream: a flow of blood.
an overflowing; flood.
the rise of the tide (opposed to ebb ).
Machinery. progressive distortion of a metal object under continuous service at high temperature.
Physics. the transference of energy: heat flow.

before 900; (v.) Middle English flowen, Old English flōwan; akin to Middle Low German vlōien, Old Norse flōa; (noun) late Middle English: surge of a wave, derivative of the v.

flowable, adjective
flowability, noun
reflow, noun, verb
underflow, noun

floe, flow (see synonym study at the current entry).

1. Flow, gush, spout, spurt refer to certain of the movements characteristic of fluids. Flow is the general term: Water flows. A stream of blood flows. To gush is to rush forth copiously from a cavity, in as large a volume as can issue therefrom, as the result of some strong impelling force: The water will gush out if the main breaks. Spout and spurt both imply the ejecting of a liquid from a cavity by some internal impetus given to it. Spout implies a rather steady, possibly well-defined, jet or stream, not necessarily of long duration but always of considerable force: A whale spouts. Spurt implies a forcible, possibly sudden, spasmodic, or intermittent issue or jet: The liquid spurted out suddenly when the bottle cap was pushed in. Spout applies only to liquids; the other terms apply also to gases. 7. run. 9. teem.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
flow (fləʊ)
1.  (of liquids) to move or be conveyed as in a stream
2.  (of blood) to circulate around the body
3.  to move or progress freely as if in a stream: the crowd flowed into the building
4.  to proceed or be produced continuously and effortlessly: ideas flowed from her pen
5.  to show or be marked by smooth or easy movement
6.  to hang freely or loosely: her hair flowed down her back
7.  to be present in abundance: wine flows at their parties
8.  an informal word for menstruate
9.  Compare ebb (of tide water) to advance or rise
10.  (tr) to cover or swamp with liquid; flood
11.  (of rocks such as slate) to yield to pressure without breaking so that the structure and arrangement of the constituent minerals are altered
12.  the act, rate, or manner of flowing: a fast flow
13.  a continuous stream or discharge
14.  continuous progression
15.  the advancing of the tide
16.  a stream of molten or solidified lava
17.  the amount of liquid that flows in a given time
18.  an informal word for menstruation
19.  (Scot)
 a.  a marsh or swamp
 b.  an inlet or basin of the sea
 c.  (capital when part of a name): Scapa Flow
20.  flow of spirits natural happiness
[Old English flōwan; related to Old Norse flōa, Middle Low German vlōien, Greek plein to float, Sanskrit plavate he swims]

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

O.E. flowan (class VII strong verb; past tense fleow, pp. flowen), from P.Gmc. *flo- (cf. Du. vloeien "to flow," O.N. floa "to deluge," O.H.G. flouwen "to rinse, wash"), probably from PIE *pleu- "flow, float" (cf. Skt. plavate "navigates, swims," plavayati "overflows;" Armenian helum "I pour;" Gk. plyno
"I wash," pleo "swim, go by sea;" L. pluere "to rain;" O.C.S. plovo "to flow, navigate;" Lith. pilu "to pour out," plauti "rinse"). The weak form predominated from 14c., but strong pp. flown is occasionally attested through 18c. Related: Flowed; flowing.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

flow (flō)
v. flowed, flow·ing, flows

  1. To move or run smoothly with unbroken continuity.

  2. To circulate, as the blood in the body.

  3. To menstruate.

  1. The smooth motion characteristic of fluids.

  2. The volume of fluid or gas passing a given point per unit of time.

  3. menstrual discharge.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
Create the illusion of flowing water in your garden.
He worked a hand pump on the inside and leaned his head out to make sure the
  liquid gold was flowing.
So tens of billions of dollars were flowing into retirement funds and then into
  the stock market.
Higher-education lobbyists scramble to find ways to keep money flowing for
  research, infrastructure, and other campus projects.
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