flounce (v.) Look up flounce at Dictionary.com
1540s, "to dash, plunge, flop," perhaps from Scandinavian (compare dialectal Swedish flunsa "to plunge," Norwegian flunsa "to hurry, work hurriedly," but first record of these is 200 years later than the English word), said to be of imitative origin. Spelling likely influenced by bounce. Notions of "anger, impatience" began to adhere to the word 18c. Related: Flounced; flouncing. As a noun from 1580s in reference to a sudden fling or turn of the body; by mid-18c. especially as expressing impatience or disdain.
flounce (n.) Look up flounce at Dictionary.com
"deep ruffle on the skirt of a dress," 1713, from Middle English frounce "pleat, wrinkle, fold" (late 14c.), from Old French fronce "line, wrinkle; pucker, crease, fold," from Frankish *hrunkjan "to wrinkle," perhaps ultimately from the same Germanic source as shrink (v.). Influenced in form by flounce (v.). The verb meaning "arrange in flounces" is from 1711.
flounder (v.) Look up flounder at Dictionary.com
"struggle awkwardly and impotently," especially when hampered somehow, 1590s, of uncertain origin, perhaps an alteration of founder (q.v.), influenced by Dutch flodderen "to flop about," or native verbs in fl- expressing clumsy motion. Figurative use is from 1680s. Related: Floundered; floundering. As a noun, "act of struggling," by 1867.
flounder (n.) Look up flounder at Dictionary.com
"flatfish," c.1300, from Anglo-French floundre, Old North French flondre, from Old Norse flydhra, from Proto-Germanic *flunthrjo (cognates: Middle Low German vlundere, Danish flynder, Old Swedish flundra "flatfish"), suffixed and nasalized form of PIE *plat- "to spread" (cognate: Greek platys "flat, wide, broad;" see plaice).
flour (n.) Look up flour at Dictionary.com
"finer portion of ground grain," mid-13c., from flower (n.), and maintaining its older spelling, on the notion of flour as the "finest part" of meal, perhaps as the flower is the finest part of the plant or the fairest plant of the field (compare French fleur de farine), as distinguished from the coarser parts (meal (n.2)). Old French flor also meant both "a flower, blossom" and "meal, fine flour." The English word also was spelled flower until flour became the accepted form c.1830 to end confusion. Flour-knave "miller's helper" is from c.1300.
flour (v.) Look up flour at Dictionary.com
"to sprinkle with flour," 1650s, from flour (n.). Meaning "convert (wheat) into flour" is from 1828. Related: Floured; flouring.
flourish (v.) Look up flourish at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "to blossom, grow" (intransitive), from Old French floriss-, stem of florir "to blossom, flower, bloom; prosper, flourish," from Latin florere "to bloom, blossom, flower," figuratively "to flourish, be prosperous," from flos "a flower" (see flora). Metaphoric sense of "thrive" is mid-14c. in English. Transitive meaning "brandish (a weapon), hold in the hand and wave about" is from late 14c. Related: Flourished; flourishing.
flourish (n.) Look up flourish at Dictionary.com
c.1500, "a blossom," from flourish (v.). Meaning "an ostentatious waving of a weapon" is from 1550s; that of "excessive literary or rhetorical embellishment" is from c.1600; in reference to decorative curves in penmanship, 1650s; as "a fanfare of trumpets," 1590s.
flourishing (adj.) Look up flourishing at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "prospering, thriving;" c.1400, "full of flowers," present participle adjective from flourish (v.). Related: Flourishingly.
flout (v.) Look up flout at Dictionary.com
"treat with disdain or contempt" (transitive), 1550s, intransitive sense "mock, jeer, scoff" is from 1570s; of uncertain origin; perhaps a special use of Middle English flowten "to play the flute" (compare Middle Dutch fluyten "to play the flute," also "to jeer"). Related: Flouted; flouting.
flow (v.) Look up flow at Dictionary.com
Old English flowan "to flow, stream, issue; become liquid, melt; abound, overflow" (class VII strong verb; past tense fleow, past participle flowen), from Proto-Germanic *flowan "to flow" (cognates: Middle Dutch vloyen, Dutch vloeien, vloeijen "to flow," Old Norse floa "to deluge," Old High German flouwen "to rinse, wash"), probably from PIE *pleu- "flow, float" (see pluvial). The weak form predominated from 14c., but strong past participle flown is occasionally attested through 18c. Related: Flowed; flowing.
flow (n.) Look up flow at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "action of flowing," from flow (v.). Meaning "amount that flows" is from 1807. Sense of "any strong, progressive movement comparable to the flow of a river" is from 1640s. Flow chart attested from 1920 (flow-sheet in same sense from 1912). To go with the flow is by 1977, apparently originally in skiing jargon.
Go with the flow, enjoy the forces, let ankles, knees, hips and waist move subtly to soak up potential disturbances of acceleration and deceleration. ["Ski" magazine, November 1980]
flower (n.) Look up flower at Dictionary.com
c.1200, flour, also flur, flor, floer, floyer, flowre, "the blossom of a plant; a flowering plant," from Old French flor "flower, blossom; heyday, prime; fine flour; elite; innocence, virginity" (12c., Modern French fleur), from Latin florem (nominative flos) "flower" (source of Italian fiore, Spanish flor; compare flora).

From late 14c. in English as "blossoming time," also, figuratively, "prime of life, height of one's glory or prosperity, state of anything that may be likened to the flowering state of a plant." As "the best, the most excellent; the best of its class or kind; embodiment of an ideal," early 13c. (of persons, mid-13c. of things); for example flour of milk "cream" (early 14c.); especially "wheat meal after bran and other coarse elements have been removed, the best part of wheat" (mid-13c.). Modern spelling and full differentiation from flour (n.) is from late 14c.

In the "blossom of a plant" sense it ousted its Old English cognate blostm (see blossom (n.)). Also used from Middle English as a symbol of transitoriness (early 14c.); "a beautiful woman" (c.1300); "virginity" (early 14c.). Flower-box is from 1818. Flower-arrangement is from 1873. Flower child "gentle hippie" is from 1967.
flower (v.) Look up flower at Dictionary.com
c.1200, "be vigorous, prosper, thrive," from flower (n.). Of a plant or bud, "to blossom," c.1300. Meaning "adorn or cover with flowers" is from 1570s. Related: Flowered; flowering.
flower-pot (n.) Look up flower-pot at Dictionary.com
also flowerpot, 1590s, from flower (n.) + pot (n.1).
flowery (adj.) Look up flowery at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., from flower (n.) + -y (2). Figurative sense "richly embellished," in reference to language, is from c.1600. Related: Floweriness.
flown Look up flown at Dictionary.com
past participle of fly (v.), from Middle English flogen, flowen. Also formerly the past participle of flow (v.).
Floyd Look up Floyd at Dictionary.com
masc. proper name, variant of Lloyd.
flu (n.) Look up flu at Dictionary.com
1839, flue, shortening of influenza. Spelling flu attested from 1893. The abstraction of the middle syllable is an uncommon method of shortening words in English; Weekley compares tec for detective, scrip for subscription.
flub (v.) Look up flub at Dictionary.com
"botch, bungle," 1924, American English, of uncertain origin, perhaps suggested by fluff, flop, etc. Related: Flubbed; flubbing. As a noun, by 1952.
fluctuant (adj.) Look up fluctuant at Dictionary.com
"moving like a wave," 1550s, from Latin fluctuantem (nominative fluctuans), present participle of fluctuare "to move in waves" (see fluctuation).
fluctuate (v.) Look up fluctuate at Dictionary.com
1630s, from Latin fluctuatus, past participle of fluctuare "to undulate" (see fluctuation). Related: Fluctuated; fluctuates; fluctuating.
fluctuation (n.) Look up fluctuation at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., from Old French fluctuacion (12c.) or directly from Latin fluctuationem (nominative fluctuatio) "a wavering, vacillation," noun of action from past participle stem of fluctuare "to undulate, to move in waves," from fluctus "a wave, billow, surge, a flowing," from past participle of fluere "to flow" (see fluent).
flue (n.) Look up flue at Dictionary.com
"smoke channel in a chimney," 1580s, of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Middle English flue, flewe "mouthpiece of a hunting horn" (early 15c.), which is perhaps from Old French fluie "stream;" or the modern word is perhaps from Old English flowan "to flow." Originally a small chimney in a furnace connected to the main chimney.
fluency (n.) Look up fluency at Dictionary.com
1620s, "abundance;" 1630s, "smooth and easy flow," from fluent + -cy. Replaced earlier fluence (c.1600).
fluent (adj.) Look up fluent at Dictionary.com
1580s, "flowing freely" (of water), also, of speakers, "able and nimble in the use of words," from Latin fluentem (nominative fluens) "lax, relaxed," figuratively "flowing, fluent," present participle of fluere "to flow, stream, run, melt," from extended form of PIE root *bhleu- "to swell, well up, overflow" (cognates: Latin flumen "river;" Greek phluein "to boil over, bubble up," phlein "to abound"), an extension of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell;" see bole. Used interchangeably with fluid (adj.) in 17c. in the sense "changeable, not rigid." Related: Fluently.
fluff (n.) Look up fluff at Dictionary.com
"light, feathery stuff," 1790, apparently a variant of floow "wooly substance, down, nap" (1580s), perhaps from Flemish vluwe, from French velu "shaggy, hairy," from Latin vellus "fleece," or Latin villus "tuft of hair" (see velvet). OED suggests fluff as "an imitative modification" of floow, "imitating the action of puffing away some light substance." Slang bit of fluff "young woman" is from 1903. The marshmallow confection Fluff dates to c.1920 in Massachusetts, U.S.
fluff (v.) Look up fluff at Dictionary.com
"to shake into a soft mass," 1875, from fluff (n.). Meaning "make a mistake" is from 1884, originally in theater slang. Related: Fluffed; fluffing.
fluffy (adj.) Look up fluffy at Dictionary.com
"containing or resembling fluff," 1825, from fluff (n.) + -y (2). Related: Fluffiness.
flugelhorn (n.) Look up flugelhorn at Dictionary.com
1854, from German flügelhorn, from flügel "wing" (related to fliegen "to fly;" see fly (v.1)) + horn "horn" (see horn (n.)).
fluid (adj.) Look up fluid at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "liquid, capable of flowing," from Middle French fluide (14c.) and directly from Latin fluidus "fluid, flowing, moist," from fluere "to flow" (see fluent). Figurative use, of non-material things, "not fixed or rigid," from 1640s. Related: Fluidly.
fluid (n.) Look up fluid at Dictionary.com
"substance capable of flowing," 1660s, from fluid (adj.). Related: Fluidal (1869), fluidic (1821, Marmaduke Tulket).
fluidity (n.) Look up fluidity at Dictionary.com
c.1600, from French fluidité, from fluide (see fluid (adj.)), or else formed in English from fluid.
fluke (n.1) Look up fluke at Dictionary.com
"flat end of an arm of an anchor," 1560s, perhaps from fluke (n.3) on resemblance of shape, or from Low German flügel "wing." Transferred meaning "whale's tail" (in plural, flukes) is by 1725, so called from resemblance.
fluke (n.2) Look up fluke at Dictionary.com
"lucky stroke, chance hit," 1857, also flook, said to be originally a lucky shot at billiards, of uncertain origin. Century Dictionary connects it with fluke (n.1) in reference to the whale's use of flukes to get along rapidly (to go a-fluking or some variant of it, "go very fast," is in Dana, Smythe, and other sailors' books of the era). OED (2nd ed. print) allows only that it is "Possibly of Eng. dialectal origin."
fluke (n.3) Look up fluke at Dictionary.com
"flatfish," Old English floc "flatfish," related to Old Norse floke "flatfish," flak "disk, floe," from Proto-Germanic *flok-, from PIE root *plak- (1) "to be flat" (see placenta). The parasite worm (1660s) so called from resemblance of shape.
fluky (adj.) Look up fluky at Dictionary.com
"depending on chance rather than skill," 1867, from fluke (n.2) + -y (2).
flume (n.) Look up flume at Dictionary.com
late 12c., "stream," from Old French flum "running water, stream, river; dysentery," from Latin flumen "flood, stream, running water," from fluere "to flow" (see fluent). In U.S., used especially of artificial streams channeled for some industrial purpose.
flummery (n.) Look up flummery at Dictionary.com
1620s, a type of coagulated food, from Welsh llymru "sour oatmeal jelly boiled with the husks," of uncertain origin. Later of a sweet dish in cookery (1747). Figurative use, of flattery, empty talk, is from 1740s.
flummox (v.) Look up flummox at Dictionary.com
1837, cant word, also flummux, of uncertain origin, probably risen out of a British dialect (OED finds candidate words in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, southern Cheshire, and Sheffield). "The formation seems to be onomatopœic, expressive of the notion of throwing down roughly and untidily" [OED]. Related: Flummoxed; flummoxing.
flung Look up flung at Dictionary.com
past participle of fling (v.).
flunk (v.) Look up flunk at Dictionary.com
1823, American English college slang, original meaning "to back out, give up, fail," of obscure origin, traditionally said to be an alteration of British university slang funk "to be frightened, shrink from" (see funk (n.1)). Meaning "cause to fail, give a failing mark to" is from 1843. Related: Flunked; flunking.
flunky (n.) Look up flunky at Dictionary.com
also flunkey, 1782, Scottish dialect, "footman, liveried servant," of uncertain origin, perhaps a diminutive variant of flanker (in reference to servants running alongside coaches; compare footman). Sense of "flatterer, toady" first recorded 1855. "Recent in literature, but prob. much older in colloquial speech" [Century Dictionary].
fluonomist (n.) Look up fluonomist at Dictionary.com
said to be a humorous title for a chimney-sweep, 1947 according to OED, from flue + ending from economist, etc.
fluor (n.) Look up fluor at Dictionary.com
1660s, an old chemistry term for "minerals which were readily fusible and useful as fluxes in smelting" [Flood], from Latin fluor, originally meaning "a flowing, flow" (see fluent), said to be from a translation of the German miners' name, flusse. Since 1771 applied to minerals containing fluorine, especially calcium fluoride (fluorspar or fluorite).
fluoresce (v.) Look up fluoresce at Dictionary.com
1874, back-formation from fluorescence. Related: Fluoresced; fluorescing.
fluorescence (n.) Look up fluorescence at Dictionary.com
1852, "property of glowing in ultraviolet light," coined by English mathematician and physicist Sir George G. Stokes (1819-1903) from fluorspar (see fluorine), because in it he first noticed the phenomenon, + -escence, on analogy of phosphorescence.
fluorescent (adj.) Look up fluorescent at Dictionary.com
1853 (Stokes), from fluor- (see fluoro-) + -escent (see fluorescence). The electric fluorescent lamp was invented by Edison in 1896, but such lights were rare in homes before improved bulbs became available in the mid-1930s.
fluoridate (v.) Look up fluoridate at Dictionary.com
1949, back-formation from fluoridation. Related: Fluoridated; fluoridating.
fluoridation (n.) Look up fluoridation at Dictionary.com
1904, "process of absorbing fluoride," from fluoride + -ation. In reference to adding traces of fluoride to drinking water as a public health policy, from 1949.