The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Flourish \Flour"ish\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Flourished; p. pr. &
vb. n. Flourishing.] [OE. florisshen, flurisshen, OF.
flurir, F. fleurir, fr. L. florere to bloom, fr. flos,
floris, flower. See Flower, and -ish.]
1. 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.
2. 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
When all the workers of iniquity do flourish. --Ps.
Bad men as frequently prosper and flourish, and that
by the means of their wickedness. --Nelson.
Of those that held their heads above the crowd,
They flourished then or then. --Tennyson.
3. 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.
4. To make bold and sweeping, fanciful, or wanton movements,
by way of ornament, parade, bravado, etc.; to play with
fantastic and irregular motion.
The stream, and smoking flourished o'er his head.
5. To make ornamental strokes with the pen; to write
graceful, decorative figures.
6. To execute an irregular or fanciful strain of music, by
way of ornament or prelude.
Why do the emperor's trumpets flourish thus? --Shak.
7. To boast; to vaunt; to brag. --Pope.