English edit

Pronunciation edit

Etymology 1 edit

From Middle English flowe, from the verb (see below). The psychology sense “state of focus” was coined by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in 1975.

Noun edit

flow (countable and uncountable, plural flows)

  1. Movement in people or things characterized with a continuous motion, involving either a non solid mass or a multitude.
  2. The movement of a real or figurative fluid.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter IV, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., →OCLC:
      Mr. Cooke at once began a tirade against the residents of Asquith for permitting a sandy and generally disgraceful condition of the roads. So roundly did he vituperate the inn management in particular, and with such a loud flow of words, that I trembled lest he should be heard on the veranda.
  3. (mathematics) A formalization of the idea of the motion of particles in a fluid, as a group action of the real numbers on a set.
    The notion of flow is basic to the study of ordinary differential equations.
  4. The rising movement of the tide.
  5. Smoothness or continuity.
    The room was small, but it had good symmetry and flow.
  6. The amount of a fluid that moves or the rate of fluid movement.
    Turn on the valve and make sure you have sufficient flow.
    Other devices measure water flow in streams fed by melted ice.
  7. A flow pipe, carrying liquid away from a boiler or other central plant (compare with return pipe which returns fluid to central plant).
  8. (psychology) A mental state characterized by concentration, focus and enjoyment of a given task.
    • 2014 January 14, Alex Lockwood, “How to achieve a state of flow when running”, in The Guardian[1]:
      The point about flow is that it is enjoyable. As research has shown "the more often athletes experienced flow, the happier they were." But the second is that entering flow actually improves performance.
  9. The emission of blood during menstruation.
    Tampons can be small or large, slender or thick. From “slender” to “super”, you can pick the size that matches your flow.
  10. (rap music slang) The ability to skilfully rap along to a beat.
    The production on his new mixtape is mediocre but his flow is on point.
    • 2003, “In da Club”, in Get Rich or Die Tryin', performed by 50 Cent:
      Now shawty said she feelin' my style, she feelin' my flow [] / My flow, my show brought me the dough / That bought me all my fancy things
  11. (software) The sequence of steps taken in a piece of software to perform some action.
    login flow
    search flow
    • 2015, Dan, “Best practices for tracking progress through a sign up flow”, in snowplow-user mailing list[2]:
      I'm setting up event tracking for a pretty standard, multi-step signup flow, and I'm wondering [...]
Synonyms edit
Antonyms edit
Hyponyms edit
Derived terms edit
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
Further reading edit

Etymology 2 edit

From Middle English flowen, from Old English flōwan (to flow), from Proto-West Germanic *flōan, from Proto-Germanic *flōaną (to flow), from Proto-Indo-European *plōw-, lengthened o-grade form of *plew- (to fly, flow, run).

Cognate with Saterland Frisian flouje (to flow), West Frisian floeie (to flow), Dutch vloeien (to flow), Norwegian flo (to flow). Compare also English float. Not cognate with Latin fluō despite similarity.

Verb edit

flow (third-person singular simple present flows, present participle flowing, simple past and past participle flowed)

  1. (intransitive) To move as a fluid from one position to another.
    Rivers flow from springs and lakes.
    Tears flow from the eyes.
  2. (intransitive) To proceed; to issue forth.
    Wealth flows from industry and economy.
  3. (intransitive) To move or match smoothly, gracefully, or continuously.
    The writing is grammatically correct, but it just doesn't flow.
    • 1697, Virgil, “Dedication”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], →OCLC:
      Virgil [] is [] sweet and flowing in his hexameters.
  4. (intransitive) To have or be in abundance; to abound, so as to run or flow over.
  5. (intransitive) To hang loosely and wave.
    a flowing mantle
    flowing locks
  6. (intransitive) To rise, as the tide; opposed to ebb.
    The tide flows twice in twenty-four hours.
    come in
    come up
  7. (transitive, computing) To arrange (text in a wordprocessor, etc.) so that it wraps neatly into a designated space; to reflow.
  8. (transitive) To allow (a liquid) to flow.
    • 1932, Carl Ernest Reistle, Paraffin and Congealing-Oil Problems, volumes 340-349, page 45:
      The action is usually progressive, and as a certain amount of oil is flowed from the tubing it lowers the pressure on the remaining oil and liberates more gas, thus causing additional oil to flow from the tubing.
  9. (transitive) To cover with water or other liquid; to overflow; to inundate; to flood.
  10. (transitive) To cover with varnish.
  11. (intransitive) To discharge excessive blood from the uterus.
Derived terms edit
Translations edit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 3 edit

Uncertain. Perhaps from Old Norse flói (a large bay, firth), see floe. Compare Scots flow (peat-bog, marsh), Icelandic flói (marshy ground).

Noun edit

flow (plural flows)

  1. (Scotland) A morass or marsh.

References edit

Anagrams edit

French edit

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

flow m (plural flows)

  1. (rap, music) flow
  2. flow (style)

Spanish edit

Etymology edit

Unadapted borrowing from English flow.

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

flow m

  1. (colloquial) flow (the ability to rap skillfully)
  2. (colloquial, uncommon) flow (as in go with the flow)
    ir con el flowgo with the flow