Meaning of FLOW in English

I. ˈflō verb

( flowed -ōd ; flowed “ ; also archaic flown -ōn ; flowing ; flows )

Etymology: Middle English flowen, from Old English flōwan; akin to Old High German flouwen to rinse, wash, Old Norse flōa to flow, Latin pluere to rain, Greek plein to sail, float, Sanskrit plavate he swims

intransitive verb


a. : to issue in a stream : gush , spring , well

b. : to move with a continual change of place among the constituent particles or parts : run , stream — used of fluids and of plastic or particulate bodies that move like fluids

the grain flowed smoothly down the elevator chute

water flowing over a dam

molasses flows slowly in cold weather

c. of paint or other coatings : to spread out in a uniform layer without holding brush or other applicator marks

this paint flows very well with a roller


a. obsolete : to become liquid : fuse , melt

b. : to deform under stress without cracking, breaking, or rupturing — used of certain solids (as metals or rocks)

3. of water : to rise especially in the influx of a tide — often opposed to ebb

the tide flows twice and ebbs twice in each 24 hours


a. : to issue forth : arise , proceed — usually used with from

his authority does not flow from his office alone

wealth continues to flow from our commerce and industry

b. : to move in or as if in a stream — usually used with adverbs of direction

money continued to flow in


a. : to be in abundance or excess : abound

a land flowing with natural resources

wine flowed freely all evening

rivers flowing with fish

b. : to fill to overflowing

her heart flowed with gratitude


a. : to move or proceed smoothly and without harshness or asperities

his speech flowed on to a summation

: issue easily or freely

words flowed from him as if from a faucet

b. : to have such a contour as to suggest a graceful unimpeded uninterrupted movement

the flowing lines of the car

the dress flowed and shimmered

7. : to hang loose and floating

his cloak flowed from his shoulders

fair hair flowing in the light air

8. : to menstruate especially profusely

transitive verb


a. : to cause to flow

flowing oil over the swamp to kill mosquito larvae

b. : to spread (as paint) in a thick layer without brushing out thinly in the usual manner

c. : to cause or permit (an oil or gas well) to produce

2. : to cover (as land) with water or other liquid : flood , inundate

flow land for irrigation

3. : to discharge (something) in a flow

brought in a new oil well that flowed 100 barrels a day

the cut flowed blood for some time

4. : to run (molten metal) through a foundry mold to carry off bubbles, slag, and dross

5. : to slack the sheet of (a sail) to spill the wind

Synonyms: see spring

- flow by heads

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from flowen, v.

1. : the act or manner of flowing (as of a liquid)

a sudden flow of tears

the chuckling flow of rills and brooklets


a. : the regular inflowing of tidal waters towards the shore

b. : overflowing , inundation ; especially : one regularly recurring (as along the course of the Nile)


a. : an easy smooth and uninterrupted progress or movement (as of thought, music, traffic) suggesting the steady flow of water in a river

ideas arose in a steady flow as he worked

a pleasing flow of distant melody

there has been a satisfactory flow of capital to new enterprises

b. : the progressive travel of material for manufacture or of semifinished or of finished product from place to place or from operation to operation

4. : a stream of water or other fluid or a mass of matter (as lava) that has flowed when molten

a rubble flow

broadly : stream


a. : the quantity (as of water) that flows in a certain time under specified conditions

a system able to handle a flow of 100 gallons a second

b. : the percentage increase in diameter of a mass of concrete or mortar when subjected to a standardized flow-test procedure including a prescribed flow table

6. : form or arrangement suggesting a gentle unbroken movement

the flow of her hair over her shoulders

the draperies forming a continuous graceful flow across the three windows

7. : the ability of a paint, varnish, or other coating to flow out to a smooth film


a. : menstrual discharge : menstruation

b. : production of a fluid or an instance of such production

a good flow of milk

the fall flow of honey

a good sap flow last spring


a. : the motion characteristic of gases, liquids, and viscous solids in which there is freedom of motion among constituent particles and change of form under the action of forces — see laminar flow , streamline flow , turbulent flow

b. : a continuous transfer of energy (as of electricity or heat)


stream , current , flood , tide , flux : flow designates the characteristic movement of a fluid, gentle or rapid, copious or meager, showing unbroken continuity

the flow of water from the pipe

the flow of lava from the volcano

the steady flow of casualties from the front

she helped Ruth into her coat, keeping up a cheerful flow of conversation — B.A.Williams

stream may focus attention on constant succession of individual units or on their volume or speed

a stream of water through the cellar wall

a continuous stream of messages came in by courier — Irving Stone

the stream of immigration turned toward middle and west Tennessee, where soils were deep and rich — American Guide Series: Tennessee

Riverside Drive and the Henry Hudson Parkway with their constant stream of cars — American Guide Series: New York City

current strongly suggests the fact of running or flowing in a set direction with noticeable force

the main current of the stream

the Labrador current in the Atlantic

the current of air from the ventilator

there are thus indications in the New Testament of several cross currents of thought, political and social, in the early Christian church — C.H.McIlwain

flood suggests abundant copiousness or torrential power

the trickle became a stream and then a flood — American Guide Series: Oregon

the rising flood of students is very much like the barbarian invasions — Douglas Bush

a flood of war orders that strained the capacity of factories long idle — Oscar Handlin

tide may suggest either surging power or periodic alternation of direction

the deadly glittering tide of Spanish conquest surged into Central and So. America — Marjory S. Douglas

the tide of traffic flow recedes very rapidly and the movement of people out of doors after midnight is almost negligible — H.E.Agnew

she was on the threshold of womanhood, borne this way and that by conflicting tides of feeling — Ruth Park

flux stresses constant change, sometimes in components, sometimes in direction

a brief illusion of stability in the eternal flux — P.E.More

as far as nature is to us more than a flux lacking order in its mutable changes, as far as it is more than a whirlpool of confusions, it is marked by rhythms — John Dewey

III. ˈfləu̇ noun

( -s )

Etymology: of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse flōi wide mouth of a river, swampy place, Danish flo marsh; derivatives from the root of Old Norse flōa to flow — more at flow I

1. chiefly Scotland : a wet swamp or bog : morass

2. chiefly Scotland : an arm or basin of the sea — used chiefly in place names

Scapa Flow

3. Scotland : a small amount

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.