Definition of thrive in English:



  • 1 (of a child, animal, or plant) grow or develop well or vigorously.

    ‘the new baby thrived’
    • ‘This has now grown to 19 acres where a plant population of 20,000 species thrives.’
    • ‘It is an easy plant to grow, thriving in most well-drained soils and sun or light shade.’
    • ‘They differ from land forests because of the soil types and the fact that the plant life and trees thrive in salt water.’
    • ‘The younger children are thriving and living peaceful lives here in Bolton.’
    • ‘His children thrived and Heshu went on to study at the William Morris Academy in Fulham, south-west London.’
    • ‘Rice also thrives in the climate, and yields in the Sacramento Valley are the highest in the world.’
    • ‘It can mean anything which helps a family to function and where children thrive.’
    • ‘These beasts have thriven on the Great Plain since the early Middle Ages.’
    • ‘The parrot was thriving and got very fat but it was running short on feathers.’
    • ‘Each of her children thrived on her love and attention and all of them achieved fulfillment from their chosen professions.’
    • ‘Barn owls thrive in and around human settlements in villages, towns and cities.’
    • ‘Bees thrive in London: they have a far better choice of flowers than their country cousins.’
    • ‘Society should recognise that a child may thrive in any number of different family structures.’
    • ‘Anglers are being drawn back to the banks of the river in the heart of Greater Manchester where fish are thriving again.’
    • ‘When the temperature rises and the sun shines the algae thrives and can produce harmful toxins.’
    • ‘The red algae thrives in places where the concentration of oxygen is very less.’
    • ‘This fast-growing deciduous vine thrives in full sun and tolerates cold and drought.’
    • ‘This extremely winter-hardy species thrives in a lightly shaded location.’
    • ‘Cereals, beans, and vines thrive in between clumps of eucalyptus on the heavy but fertile clay soils.’
    • ‘Vigilance by all who want to see these wonderful creatures thrive into the future is still in order.’
    1. 1.1Prosper; flourish.
      ‘education groups thrive on organization’
      • ‘It's the underground genres that thrive on the Internet and the record labels know it.’
      • ‘Once again, these B-grade luxury goods sellers thrive on the naiveness of tourists.’
      • ‘His party privatised the railways and fat cats thrived from the ‘greed is good Thatcher years’.’
      • ‘You get the feeling that daily dilemmas are grist to the mill for Singh, who seems to thrive on the push and pull of the restaurant trade.’
      • ‘They thrive on misinformation, on twisting the truth to suit their nefarious ends.’
      • ‘Fortunately, Pearson seems to thrive on the insecurity of the actor's life.’
      • ‘Those who thrive on glib pronouncements about the role of renewables should carry out the occasional reality check.’
      • ‘It's not that I find such constant flux unpleasant - to a certain extent I thrive on it.’
      • ‘The fanatics who buy into the al-Qaeda ideology thrive on anger and hate.’
      • ‘If truth must be an exile from the mainstream of politics, let it thrive on the margins.’
      • ‘Moneyed big companies seem to almost thrive on residents' apathy and the sentiment that the worst is as good as done.’
      • ‘They thrive on speculation and controversy and highlight divisions, issues and problems.’
      • ‘That human minds thrive on aesthetics is a curse when trying to comprehend new surroundings.’
      • ‘But literary journals and magazines have their own set of readers and thrive on them.’
      • ‘It is a short step from there to realising that then we also cannot hate those who thrive on spreading hatred.’
      • ‘There is also no doubt that certain sections of the media thrive on controversy rather than the positive aspects of the game.’
      • ‘There is hope even for the thrill-seekers who thrive on the chaos - but not for adult serial arsonists.’
      • ‘You must thrive on the knowledge that you can bully someone and get so many sycophants to follow suit.’
      • ‘Such is the lot of the actor, who must thrive on myriad challenges.’
      • ‘His monopoly, they say, was threatening to kill off any semblance of competition in a discipline that used to thrive on it.’
      flourish, prosper, grow vigorously, develop well, burgeon, bloom, blossom, do well, advance, make strides, succeed
      shoot up
      boom, profit, expand, go well, grow rich
      flourishing, prosperous, prospering, growing, developing, burgeoning, blooming, healthy, successful, advancing, progressing
      luxuriant, lush, prolific
      booming, profitable, expanding, fast-growing
      going strong
      View synonyms


Middle English (originally in the sense ‘grow, increase’): from Old Norse thrífask, reflexive of thrífa grasp, get hold of. Compare with thrift.