/ fləʊ; NAmE floʊ/ noun , verb
[ C , usually sing. , U ]
flow (of sth/sb) the steady and continuous movement of sth/sb in one direction :
She tried to stop the flow of blood from the wound.
an endless flow of refugees into the country
to improve traffic flow (= make it move faster)
to control the direction of flow
PRODUCTION / SUPPLY
flow (of sth) the continuous production or supply of sth :
the flow of goods and services to remote areas
to encourage the free flow of information
—see also cash flow
OF SPEECH / WRITING
continuous talk by sb :
You've interrupted my flow—I can't remember what I was saying.
As usual, Tom was in full flow .
flow of sth the way that words and ideas are linked together in speech or writing :
Too many examples can interrupt the smooth flow of the text.
OF THE SEA
the movement of the sea towards the land :
the ebb and flow of the tide
- go with the flow
—more at ebb noun
[ v ]
flow (back / down, etc.) | flow (into, through, etc. sth) ( of liquid, gas or electricity ) to move steadily and continuously in one direction :
It's here that the river flows down into the ocean.
Blood flowed from a cut on her head.
This can prevent air from flowing freely to the lungs.
She lost control and the tears began to flow.
[ v , usually + adv. / prep. ] ( of people or things ) to move or pass continuously from one place or person to another, especially in large numbers or amounts :
constant streams of traffic flowed past.
Election results flowed in throughout the night.
OF IDEAS / CONVERSATION
to develop or be produced in an easy and natural way :
Conversation flowed freely throughout the meal.
BE AVAILABLE EASILY
to be available easily and in large amounts :
It was obvious that money flowed freely in their family.
The party got livelier as the drink began to flow.
[+ adv. / prep. ] to be felt strongly by sb :
Fear and excitement suddenly flowed over me.
OF CLOTHES / HAIR
flow (down / over sth) to hang loosely and freely :
Her hair flowed down over her shoulders.
long flowing skirts
OF THE SEA
( of the tide in the sea / ocean ) to come in towards the land
OPP ebb verb
- flow from sth
Old English flōwan , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vloeien , also to flood .