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Unknown, first recorded in the mid 16th century.



flare (plural flares)

A flare at a German oil refinery
  1. A source of brightly burning light or intense heat used to attract attention in an emergency, to illuminate an area, or as a decoy.
    • 2010, James Fleming, Cold Blood
      ...when the soldiers openly laughed at him, I knew he was in the bag. While he was putting on the snowplough, the Whites shot up a flare to see what was happening.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 7, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      The turmoil went on—no rest, no peace. […] It was nearly eleven o'clock now, and he strolled out again. In the little fair created by the costers' barrows the evening only seemed beginning; and the naphtha flares made one's eyes ache, the men's voices grated harshly, and the girls' faces saddened one.
    The flares steered the traffic away from the accident.
    A spent flare had punctured the tire.
    The flares attracted the heat-seeking missiles.
  2. A widening of an object with an otherwise roughly constant width.
    • 2003, Timothy Noakes, Lore of Running, page 270:
      The flare on the inside of the shoe resists ankle pronation;
    That's a genuine early '70's flare on those pants.
  3. (in the plural) Bell-bottom pants.
  4. (aviation) The transition from downward flight to level flight just before landing.
    The captain executed the flare perfectly, and we lightly touched down.
  5. (baseball) A low fly ball that is hit in the region between the infielders and the outfielders
    Jones hits a little flare to left that falls for a single.
  6. A type of pyrotechnic that produces a brilliant light or intense heat without an explosion. A colored flare used as a warning on the railroad, a fusee.
  7. (photography) lens flare
  8. (engineering) widening at the end (edge) of a tube or a hollow structural section (rectangular hollow section)
    During assembly of a flare tube fitting, a flare nut is used to secure the flared tubing's tapered end to the also tapered fitting, producing a pressure-resistant, leak-tight seal.
  9. A flame produced by a burn-off of waste gas (flare gas) from a flare tower (flare stack), typically at an oil refinery.

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


flare (third-person singular simple present flares, present participle flaring, simple past and past participle flared)

  1. (intransitive) To blaze brightly.
    The blast furnace flared in the night.
  2. (intransitive) To burn unsteadily.
    The candle flared in a sudden draught.
  3. (transitive, intransitive) To open outward in shape.
    The cat flared its nostrils while sniffing at the air.
    The cat's nostrils flared when it sniffed at the air.
    The building flared from the third through the seventh floors to occupy the airspace over the entrance plaza.
    The sides of a bowl flare.
  4. (transitive) To cause to burn.
  5. To shine out with a sudden and unsteady light; to emit a dazzling or painfully bright light.
  6. To shine out with gaudy colours; to be offensively bright or showy.
    • Shakespeare
      With ribbons pendant, flaring about her head.
  7. (obsolete) To be exposed to too much light.
    • Prior
      flaring in sunshine all the day

Derived termsEdit



  • flare in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
  • flare at OneLook Dictionary Search




  • Hyphenation: fla‧re



  1. (astronomy) solar flare


Inflection of flare (Kotus type 8/nalle, no gradation)
nominative flare flaret
genitive flaren flarejen
partitive flarea flareja
illative flareen flareihin
singular plural
nominative flare flaret
accusative nom. flare flaret
gen. flaren
genitive flaren flarejen
partitive flarea flareja
inessive flaressa flareissa
elative flaresta flareista
illative flareen flareihin
adessive flarella flareilla
ablative flarelta flareilta
allative flarelle flareille
essive flarena flareina
translative flareksi flareiksi
instructive flarein
abessive flaretta flareitta
comitative flareineen