Definition of flare in English:

flare

noun

  • 1A sudden brief burst of bright flame or light.

    ‘the flare of the match lit up his face’
    • ‘I remember looking at him there, that shadowy figure sitting cross-legged on that cushion with his peaked ears twitching, his eyes flashing like a brief flare of sun off oil on water.’
    • ‘Keigen tried to find his friend in the dark, until a flare of light burst into flame beside him.’
    • ‘A sudden flare of white light had the Paladin scrambling for his sword as a shadowed form draped in a cowl and cloak rose from the lake, mistily transparent.’
    • ‘A narrow doorway of an old house - a dark room - then a sudden flare of video lights, like a flash of lightning.’
    • ‘Jonah desperately thumbed the lighter's switch one last time, and he was rewarded with a sudden flare of light.’
    • ‘She flinched away from a flare of white light, which slowly resolved itself into her bedroom.’
    • ‘The flares of light became more and more frequent, until they were solid.’
    • ‘His big eyes glinted with a sudden flare of light and Teera turned to see the camp going up in flames.’
    • ‘A sudden flare of light caused her to raise her right arm protectively across her face.’
    • ‘In the brief flare, I could see the scared faces of those around me.’
    • ‘The brief flare of light showed him short hair, thin but not angular face, and dark eyes.’
    • ‘The shadow warship exploded in a brilliant flare of yellow, orange, and white.’
    • ‘A flare of lightning lit the dark sky to a bright lavender, then darkness ruled again.’
    • ‘Amber reacted, her own light flashing brighter, a flare of red.’
    • ‘There was a brief flare of white light, and the Goddess vanished, leaving only a smattering of loose tinsel behind.’
    • ‘Then comes the sudden flare of light from a thousand torches.’
    • ‘She blinked for a moment against the bright flare of lights that exploded in her eyes, and waited for it to clear.’
    • ‘He was abruptly cut off as a brief flare of red light flickered around Lexa.’
    • ‘In addition, however, it has repeatedly witnessed a sky flickering with ultraviolet flares, bursts and fast-moving streaks.’
    • ‘With each word her eyes turned bluer, and as she finished a flare of cerulean light blazed through my vision.’
    blaze, flash, dazzle, glare, burst
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A device producing a very bright flame, used especially as a signal or marker.
      ‘a distress flare’
      as modifier ‘a flare gun’
      • ‘If I had flares or some other signaling device, I might have been able to get help and medical attention to him sooner, without having to do something risky like blocking traffic.’
      • ‘However, it is known that military aircraft using the countermeasures tend to eject lots of flares, just to be on the safe side.’
      • ‘Aruna pulled out a flare gun, and fired it up into the sky.’
      • ‘The weapons, imported from eastern Europe, have been adapted from a miniature distress flare gun and can hold two bullets.’
      • ‘A lost hunter with a flare gun, so goes the story, started the whole thing.’
      • ‘Mr Long said in the past refuse collectors had found live gun cartridges and a distress flare among rubbish left out for them.’
      • ‘Another pulse of adrenaline shot through her, though it was a wonder she had any left after the past occurrences, and Sydney closed her eyes and aimed the flare gun into the sky.’
      • ‘Fury ran up the mountain, then turned and launched a flare, her signal to begin.’
      • ‘But by the time he got there the intruder had gone, stealing a number of items including a flare gun.’
      • ‘I stumbled to the opening in the suit and pulled out one of the signal flares.’
      • ‘It can serve as a shotgun, an accurate big bore rifle, a handgun, and even as a flare gun.’
      • ‘It's not a bad idea to include signaling devices such as mirrors, flares, etc., whether you are in a remote location or not!’
      • ‘One of their missions was to fire illumination flares to aid commercial and military aircraft that were forced to ditch at sea.’
      • ‘I walked over to the door, opened it a crack, and stuck my hand out holding the flare gun.’
      • ‘Signaling measures have included flare guns, cell phones, hand gestures, and other communicative means.’
      • ‘Throughout the next four hours, we lit several smoke and flare signals, but the smoke dissipated each time in the trees before rising high enough to be effective.’
      • ‘Then, a flare shot up and signaled that the operation was to begin.’
      • ‘Without these mittens, I would not have been able to even open the zipper on my survival vest, let alone try to work a flare or other signaling device.’
      • ‘Attacks signaled by flares and coordinated remote mine attacks are not taught in training camps, but in military schools.’
      • ‘One by one the marker flares went out, swallowed by the approaching mass.’
      distress signal, rocket, very light, beacon, light, flashlight, signal
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2in singular A sudden burst of intense emotion.
      ‘she felt a flare of anger within her’
      • ‘As if she were sure I was to be punished, Rayne thought with a flare of anger.’
      • ‘A flare of anger rose in the governess' chest.’
      • ‘I feel his lips curve into a smirk against my cheek and a flare of anger ignites within me.’
      • ‘His eyes widened a moment, a flare of sudden overwhelming emotion to which he could only stutter.’
      • ‘Dale felt a sudden flare of protectiveness, possessive anger, and a father's pride.’
      • ‘A small flare of obstinate anger reared up in her.’
      • ‘She felt a flare of emotion in her chest, but forced that down too - distraction was not needed.’
      • ‘He was only reading it to inspire a flare of anger.’
      • ‘She saw another soldier join the battle, and felt a flare of anger.’
      • ‘I hope he chokes on it, she thought, her fear being overcome by a flare of anger.’
      • ‘For some reason, this sent a flare of anger up in Jade, and she shoved him away and stood up, glaring at him.’
      • ‘A faint flare of anger had risen up in me, but I quickly extinguished the blaze.’
      • ‘Another flare of anger, that vanished almost immediately as I continued to avoid eye contact.’
      • ‘Ronnie felt a flare of anger spring up and he clenched his hands into fists, shooting a glare at Jessica.’
      • ‘She looks away, ashamed of being seen with Robbie and a small flare of anger was burning in her heart.’
      • ‘With a flare of anger, he saw the pistol from his father's three-part collection, its dragon carving and sapphire eye unique among the display.’
      • ‘He spoke, in a very businesslike tone, the sudden flare of anger gone from his voice and attitude.’
      • ‘Something about his mild responses caused a flare of anger with Anne.’
      • ‘Turning about, Jeremy felt a flare of anger as he saw the words on the wall at the head of the bed.’
      • ‘She felt a flare of anger at this, but didn't respond.’
      burst, rush, attack, eruption, explosion, bout, spasm
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 A sudden recurrence of an inflammation or other medical condition.
      ‘corticosteroid treatment for colitis flares’
      • ‘But it was a placebo controlled study, and early use of another active compound such as weak 1% hydrocortisone may have also prevented such flares.’
      • ‘Steroids and immunosuppressive drugs have been used for acute flares.’
      • ‘The condition may resolve late in pregnancy, but classically flares up again at delivery.’
      • ‘Medication helps to both prevent flares and treat symptoms.’
      • ‘Patients should be warned that they may suffer a pustular flare during the first few weeks of tretinoin therapy.’
      • ‘It can be present as a chronic condition, flaring up occasionally under stress.’
      • ‘Patients may have less severe attacks between acute flares.’
      • ‘Traditionally the treatment of atopic dermatitis has included the frequent use of emollients and the intermittent use of topical corticosteroids to control acute flares.’
      • ‘But prednisone isn't a permanent cure, as Crohn's can flare up at any time, and eventually abdominal cramping, fatigue and chronic diarrhea returned.’
      • ‘Other complications include acne flares and dermatitis - inflammation of the skin.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, Suzi's illness still flares up, exacerbated by stress (being married to a goalie can't help much).’
      • ‘Poor nutrition can also make it more difficult to recover from flares of the disease.’
      • ‘Almost all lupus patients take medication to control inflammation and reduce the risk of flares (periods when the disease gets worse).’
      • ‘Avoid sulfa antibiotics and be aware of oral contraceptives, both of which may induce flares.’
      • ‘Furthermore, an asymptomatic infection can flare up after weeks or months and suddenly start to cause symptoms.’
      • ‘Despite these problems, 64 percent said they had not visited a physician the last time their allergies flared up.’
      • ‘It's very common for adolescents to deny that they have asthma, so they may stop taking medications and have more flares and symptoms.’
      • ‘These medications affect the immune system and may help maintain normal skin texture and reduce flares of atopic dermatitis.’
      • ‘And asthma flares are the most common reason for pediatric emergency room visits due to a chronic illness.’
      • ‘Often triggered by irritants in the air such as cigarette smoke, asthma flares involve contraction and swelling of the muscles lining the tiny airways.’
      • ‘Second, they don't address the cause of many flares: the hidden inflammation smoldering in a child's airways.’
      • ‘The disease goes through periods of exacerbation and remission with no known triggers to alert the practitioner to when the condition will flare up.’
      • ‘They can also be useful for treating acute flares with systemic symptoms.’
      • ‘Whenever the patient stops treatment, a rash flare results, usually worse than the initial rash.’
      • ‘Johnson's chronic back problems flared up during that same game.’
      • ‘Intra-articular injection of steroid may be helpful in acute flares.’
      • ‘When your eczema flares up (gets worse), use the medicine prescribed by your doctor.’
      • ‘Sometimes chronic pain is just a nagging discomfort, but it can flare up into severe pain.’
      • ‘These flares may be caused by other viral infections, or they may be secondary to viral reactivation and an unregulated immune response.’
      • ‘Agnes never complains when she has a flare of her eczema as she realises it ultimately saved her life.’
    4. 1.4Astronomy A sudden explosion in the chromosphere and corona of the sun or another star, resulting in an intense burst of radiation.
      See also solar flare
      • ‘Note the white bands buried amid the black and gray sunspots, depicting the twin bands of the flare as it burst into view around the sunspots.’
      • ‘Scientists are still figuring out the role of sunspots in space weather, but they do know that when a flare erupts, sunspots are often nearby.’
      • ‘Massive solar explosions called flares often accompany coronal mass ejections, which emit solar material and a magnetic field.’
      • ‘Violent events such as stellar flares, supernovae and the explosion of galactic nuclei produce a concoction of subatomic particles, primarily protons and electrons.’
      • ‘Four minutes after the onset of the big flare, the Harvard Radio Astronomy Station at Fort Davis, Texas, began hearing radio noise from the Sun.’
    5. 1.5Photography mass noun Extraneous illumination on film caused by internal reflection in the camera.
      • ‘Prime lenses are less susceptible to lens flare and also have a closer minimum focusing distance than do zooms.’
      • ‘Light of this type can often cause lens flare and, if using auto focus, cause the camera to focus on the wrong subject.’
      • ‘No Dogma film contains muck on the lens, intrusive lens flare, obvious boom and camera shadows, as this does.’
      • ‘It is however very prone to lens flare - the lens hood basically can be no larger than a hood for a 150 mm lens.’
      • ‘I don't think we're seeing the effects of flare on the camera, though - it doesn't look like an optical effect.’
  • 2A gradual widening in shape, especially towards the hem of a garment.

    • ‘It is loose cut through the leg, with a slight flare to add shape.’
    • ‘No trousers with flares here; instead the cut was close fitting.’
    • ‘I could actually feel the volume of the bass, and it seemed to me the flares of my trousers were flapping with every beat.’
    • ‘The cashmere and leather were also cut into low-waisted, flat-fronted trousers cut neatly on the leg and swinging into a subtle, flattering flare at the bottom.’
    widening, spread
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1flares Trousers whose legs get progressively wider from the knees down.
      • ‘In correspondence with that, Susan found her some full, dark purple jean flares to go with it.’
      • ‘I found it hard to imagine Dad in flares.’
      • ‘We tried on matching tank tops and flares, and practised hairstyles from Honey magazine.’
      • ‘When Ian had moved into the room, the mould-peppered walls had been decorated with lurid orange-flowered wallpaper, redolent of stack heels, flares, beads and caftans.’
      • ‘Cobain, a modern dandy in purple flares and kipper tie, is effervescently enthusiastic about all things mind - expanding.’
      • ‘Platform boots, flares and wide lapels, satin suits and big hair dos, as well as lashings of glitter, will all be on the fashion menu as revellers relive the years of Abba's heyday.’
      • ‘Always insist that black flares, safari suits, wide collared white shirts and high heeled shoes never go out of fashion.’
      • ‘Kiss your flares good-bye - It's all about long and lean drain pipe pants.’
      • ‘Mandy who was wearing an apple green, button down blouse and white flares was lying down on the bed staring at the ceiling.’
      • ‘And a pair of tight hip hugger blue jean flares with star patches all down the sides.’
      • ‘You knew you had achieved the ultimate look when your flares completely covered your feet, giving the distinctly eerie impression you were floating down the street.’
      • ‘Strangely, his flares and cravats were once seen as the epitome of stylish excellence.’
      • ‘She pointed down to the simple black flares and ice blue shirt that she had tossed on when she got home.’
      • ‘Who knows… but if flares, kipper ties and tank tops can make a comeback then I guess anything's possible.’
      • ‘Fashions of the time were tank tops, tonic suits and trousers, flares, and long hair all round.’
      • ‘She was wearing dark name-brand low-rise flares and a pink polo shirt, large silver earrings and some glitzy heels.’
      • ‘WE'VE had the Seventies revival in fashion and interiors, so I thought I'd revive a couple of old friends from the age of brown flares and orange tank tops.’
      • ‘Angel wore black tight flares and a white tank top, and put her hair in a loose bun with a few strands hanging out, to which she added little chopstick things.’
      • ‘They dressed me in a turquoise crocheted pullover, brown corduroy flares and open-toed sandals, while letting my hair grow very long.’
      • ‘It is an act of worship to the sixties and seventies - to flares and body shirts and all that glitters.’
    2. 2.2mass noun An upward and outward curve of a ship's bows, designed to throw the water outwards when in motion.

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Burn or shine with a sudden intensity.

    ‘the bonfire crackled and flared up’
    ‘behind him, lightning flared’
    • ‘As a breeze swept over the rubble, patches of flame flared here and there.’
    • ‘As the sand hit it, the flame flared into angry whiteness and went out with a shower of sparks.’
    • ‘Some residents jumped from windows as the blaze flared through the building's entrance.’
    • ‘On the horizon I can see great columns of smoke from burning wells, orange flame flaring at their base.’
    • ‘A sudden rush of red-gold flame flared in the corner, and Rakael spoke.’
    • ‘The thief absently watched the flames flaring around her, hearing her own harsh breathing echo around her over the crackle of the flames.’
    • ‘Rilleta leaped lightly clear, and turned, flames flaring on her hands, ready to meet her death if she must.’
    • ‘The maroon flames also rose and flared, before dying in a matter of seconds into a small pile of ashes.’
    • ‘Heart turned at a sudden crackle and watched as the demonic blades flared and burned, leaving not even scorches where they had fallen.’
    • ‘Witnesses described the screams of panicked residents and said people leapt from windows as the blaze flared through the entrance hall of the building.’
    • ‘The ripples she had created by dipping her fingers caused the flame to flare and flicker.’
    • ‘The flames on his log flared higher, showering sparks all over his body - the same body covered with mead.’
    • ‘The torches flared upon the walls, and the firepit blazed forth its red warmth.’
    • ‘The flames flared and he climbed back into car, and drove away.’
    • ‘I saw the stars burn and flare against the velvety darkness.’
    • ‘The spell died quickly, emerald flames flaring for a moment, then dissolving into nothing.’
    blaze, flash, flare up, flame, burn unsteadily, burn violently, burn up
    burn, blaze, be ablaze, be alight, be on fire, be in flames, flame, be aflame
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a situation or emotion) suddenly become intense or violent.
      ‘tempers flared as supporters scuffled with other passengers’
      ‘the controversy flared up again in 2003’
      • ‘Periodic unrest has flared since, but yesterday's attack was among the worst.’
      • ‘His men were quoted as saying there are still tribal elements in the city who are resisting their control, and that the situation could flare into fighting if they do not back down.’
      • ‘The robber gives predictably blood-curdling answers as his temper flares at the thought.’
      • ‘He said the German's refusal to pay for the use of his van irritated him and when he tried to collect the fee, the intensity of the argument flared.’
      • ‘The attack took place as racial violence flared across the Pennines in Oldham after National Front supporters descended on the town to hold an illegal march.’
      • ‘Intense fighting has flared between Mehdi and Iraqi government forces in the southern city of al-Kut.’
      • ‘In the years ahead tensions over water may flare in regions outside the Middle East as well.’
      • ‘US capital markets have also been a refuge for many in recent years as emerging market crises flared from Russia and Brazil.’
      • ‘The president has faced criticism for his habit of heading overseas just as domestic crises flare out of control.’
      • ‘As recently as last spring, a violent public response flared in Cincinnati under disturbingly familiar circumstances.’
      • ‘Nearly 250 priests have resigned or been dismissed from their duties since the crisis flared in January.’
      • ‘Tensions between Anglo and Muslim residents have flared before.’
      recur, reoccur, reappear
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    2. 1.2flare up (of a person) suddenly become angry.
      ‘she flared up, shouting at Geoffrey’
      • ‘But suddenly, she flared up and pushed him away.’
      lose one's temper, lose control, become enraged, go into a rage, fly into a passion, fly into a temper, boil over, boil over with rage, fire up, go berserk, throw a tantrum, explode
      View synonyms
  • 2often as adjective flaredGradually become wider at one end.

    ‘a flared skirt’
    ‘the dress flared out into a huge train’
    • ‘She was wearing a very short skirt which flared out a lot, so we could all see her underwear since we all stood lower than her.’
    • ‘Her skirt flared evenly around her, as did her hair, forming a light-colored fan behind her head.’
    • ‘The dress flared at the waist and had one hell of a train on it.’
    • ‘Do not give us shirt or raglan sleeves, or ‘shirtwaister’ styles with blousy tops, or flared or pleated skirts in boring patterns.’
    • ‘The bodice hugged my form and the skirt flared to give me enough room to run.’
    • ‘The dress hugged my body, but not to the point where it was skin tight, and the skirt flared out just slightly to accentuate my hips.’
    • ‘The waist was small and tapered into a V, and the skirt flared out slightly, with filmy layers overlying the dress.’
    • ‘Shanna got a long black skirt with a black shirt that flared at the cuffs.’
    • ‘Phoenix was wearing a long-sleeved forest green velvet dress that flared at the end of the sleeves.’
    • ‘She was wearing a knee-length jean skirt that flared slightly at the bottom and cute sandals were on her dainty little feet.’
    • ‘It had long sleeves that slightly flared and over the dress she wore a slight scoop neck cloak.’
    • ‘It flared out gradually from the hips and there was a slit on two sides.’
    • ‘Her skirt was black and also flared out with the help of a crinoline petticoat underneath.’
    • ‘So dig out your best pair of platform boots, squeeze yourself into those flared hipsters, smooth out your huge wing collar, and saunter on over to the bright and shiny new glamvan blog.’
    • ‘The skirt flared out slightly at about hip-level, not very much though; it almost didn't have a waistline.’
    • ‘For example, you can see where zippers are located, how the shoulder line falls or if the skirt is flared.’
    • ‘She had on purple leggings that barely flared and a too-small white top with glittery purple spirals.’
    • ‘The bodice was fitting, but allowed movement, and the skirt flared out so that I could run about freely.’
    • ‘I adore the simple white dress with the slightly flared sleeves.’
    • ‘At her knees, the skirt flared out in an emphasizing bubble.’
    1. 2.1 (of a person's nostrils) dilate.
      ‘his head lifted fractionally, his nostrils flaring’
      • ‘Edward's nostrils flared as he everything came back to him.’
      • ‘The King's cheeks turned red and his nostrils flared.’
      • ‘His nostrils flared and he searched for the most effective words he could use.’
      • ‘His nostrils flared, then his mouth set in a hard line.’
      • ‘His nostrils flared considerably as he inhaled the deep odor.’
      • ‘Chino's nostrils flared, her ears pricked and her step got springy.’
      • ‘Alicia's nostrils flared at the use of the old nick name.’
      • ‘His nostrils flared and his great chest heaved as he searched frantically for any scent.’
      • ‘Lena's nostrils flared slightly then she grinned and kissed his lips softly.’
      • ‘His nostrils flared taking in the scent of all the flora around him.’
      • ‘Lexi's nostrils flared and she straightened her shoulders back.’
      • ‘His nostrils flared but his ears were pricked; he was listening.’
      • ‘Cargo's nostrils flared madly as he lectured Finn.’
      • ‘His nostrils flared, and his lips thinned to a slit line.’
      • ‘It may have been the wrong thing to mention because Monica began to chuckle slightly and Daniel's nostrils flared at her.’
      • ‘Father's nostrils flared as he registered what he was seeing, and in an instant he was striding into the room.’
      • ‘Erial's nostrils flared and her eyebrows moved down as she frowned.’
      • ‘Her nostrils flared wide as she jerked back, away from me.’
      • ‘It was Sylvie's nose, straight and long, narrowing in the middle just a little before the nostrils flared.’
      • ‘Judging from the way his nostrils flared, I wouldn't be able to change whatever set route he was on.’
      spread, broaden, widen, get wider, expand, splay
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2with object (of a person) cause (the nostrils) to dilate.
      • ‘He flared his nostrils, threatened anyone who decided to continue the Patience / Horse argument with violence.’
      • ‘Tobias's nostrils were flared, and he had his arms held stiffly against his sides, with his hands clenched into fists.’
      • ‘His nostrils were flared and his coat was sweaty from a run already completed with daily battle training.’
      • ‘Bryony flared her nostrils, catching the scent of cooked meat.’
      • ‘Mesa flared his nostrils, like a horse, and breathed in the deep autumn air.’
      • ‘Now Gott was flaring his nostrils and slowly flexing his muscles.’
      • ‘He flared his nostrils as he tried to distinguish the smell.’
      • ‘I like big noses, especially when the person is able to flare the nostrils at will.’
      • ‘Her black hair was knotted up tight, her cheekbones stuck out very high, and her nostrils were flared.’
      • ‘Her large nostrils were permanently flared in an expression of exceeding displeasure at the world in general.’
      • ‘He laughed as she flared her nostrils and picked up a piece of her sandwich.’
      • ‘I heard Rhett flare his nostrils and I took a half step back just in case he had a wand hidden in his pants.’
      • ‘And then she threw back her head, flared her nostrils and stared at me.’
      • ‘Give it a go, you won't be sorry - just don't forget to flare those nostrils like you mean it.’
      • ‘Even when he was a child, he flared his nostrils, just out of habit.’
      • ‘I said nothing and instead just passed her by in the kitchen, flaring my nostrils as the smell of yet another burnt pumpkin pie entered my system.’
      • ‘His nostrils were flared, and his eyes were white rimmed.’
      • ‘Having achieved the single most sinister moment on television this year, Gordon bares his teeth, flares his nostrils and pulls his face back into a rictus of a smile.’
      • ‘Syona lowered her head, lightly flaring her nostrils.’
      • ‘I flare my nostrils ever so slightly and still feel like I've been smashed in the face by a baseball bat.’

Origin

Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘spread out one's hair’): of unknown origin. Current senses date from the 17th century.

Pronunciation

flare

/flɛː/