Etymology
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blossom (v.)

late 14c., blosmen, "come into flower," from Old English blostmian "put forth blossoms, to flower," from blostma "a blossom, a flower" (see blossom (n.)). Figurative use is from late 14c. Related: Blossomed; blossoming.

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efflorescence (n.)

1620s, "a bursting into flower, act of blossoming out," from French efflorescence, from Latin efflorescentem (nominative efflorescens), present participle of efflorescere "to bloom, flourish, blossom," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + florescere "to blossom," from flos "flower" (from PIE root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom"). Sense in chemistry is from 1660s.

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blast (v.)

Middle English blasten, from Old English blæstan "to blow, belch forth," from Proto-Germanic *bles- (source also of German blasen, Gothic blesan "to blow"), from PIE root *bhle- "to blow." From 16c.-19c., it often meant "to breathe on balefully, cause to wither, blight, prevent from blossoming or maturing." The meaning "to blow up by explosion" is from 1758. Related: Blasted; blasting.

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overblown (adj.)

late 15c., "blown over, passed away" (as a wind or storm), past-participle adjective from verb overblow "to blow over the top of," of a storm, "to abate, pass on" (late 14c.), from over- + blow (v.1). Sense of "past the time of blossoming or blooming" (as a flower), 1610s, is from blow (v.2). Figurative meaning "inflated, puffed up" (with vanity, etc.) is from 1864.

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flower (n.)

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), from PIE root *bhel- (3) "to thrive, bloom."

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.

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