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’
    • ‘The flares of light became more and more frequent, until they were solid.’
    • ‘With each word her eyes turned bluer, and as she finished a flare of cerulean light blazed through my vision.’
    • ‘She flinched away from a flare of white light, which slowly resolved itself into her bedroom.’
    • ‘He was abruptly cut off as a brief flare of red light flickered around Lexa.’
    • ‘A flare of lightning lit the dark sky to a bright lavender, then darkness ruled again.’
    • ‘A sudden flare of light caused her to raise her right arm protectively across her 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.’
    • ‘Jonah desperately thumbed the lighter's switch one last time, and he was rewarded with a sudden flare of light.’
    • ‘She blinked for a moment against the bright flare of lights that exploded in her eyes, and waited for it to clear.’
    • ‘The brief flare of light showed him short hair, thin but not angular face, and dark eyes.’
    • ‘In addition, however, it has repeatedly witnessed a sky flickering with ultraviolet flares, bursts and fast-moving streaks.’
    • ‘Then comes the sudden flare of light from a thousand torches.’
    • ‘A narrow doorway of an old house - a dark room - then a sudden flare of video lights, like a flash of lightning.’
    • ‘In the brief flare, I could see the scared faces of those around me.’
    • ‘The shadow warship exploded in a brilliant flare of yellow, orange, and white.’
    • ‘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 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.’
    • ‘There was a brief flare of white light, and the Goddess vanished, leaving only a smattering of loose tinsel behind.’
    • ‘Amber reacted, her own light flashing brighter, a flare of red.’
    blaze, flash, dazzle, glare, burst
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A device producing a bright flame, used especially as a signal or marker.
      as modifier ‘a flare gun’
      ‘a helicopter spotted a flare set off by the crew’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The weapons, imported from eastern Europe, have been adapted from a miniature distress flare gun and can hold two bullets.’
      • ‘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 by one the marker flares went out, swallowed by the approaching mass.’
      • ‘Fury ran up the mountain, then turned and launched a flare, her signal to begin.’
      • ‘One of their missions was to fire illumination flares to aid commercial and military aircraft that were forced to ditch at sea.’
      • ‘Aruna pulled out a flare gun, and fired it up into the sky.’
      • ‘I stumbled to the opening in the suit and pulled out one of the signal flares.’
      • ‘Signaling measures have included flare guns, cell phones, hand gestures, and other communicative means.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I walked over to the door, opened it a crack, and stuck my hand out holding the flare gun.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mr Long said in the past refuse collectors had found live gun cartridges and a distress flare among rubbish left out for them.’
      • ‘But by the time he got there the intruder had gone, stealing a number of items including a flare gun.’
      • ‘A lost hunter with a flare gun, so goes the story, started the whole thing.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, it is known that military aircraft using the countermeasures tend to eject lots of flares, just to be on the safe side.’
      • ‘It can serve as a shotgun, an accurate big bore rifle, a handgun, and even as a flare gun.’
      • ‘Attacks signaled by flares and coordinated remote mine attacks are not taught in training camps, but in military schools.’
      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’
      • ‘She felt a flare of anger at this, but didn't respond.’
      • ‘A small flare of obstinate anger reared up in her.’
      • ‘She looks away, ashamed of being seen with Robbie and a small flare of anger was burning in her heart.’
      • ‘Something about his mild responses caused a flare of anger with Anne.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Another flare of anger, that vanished almost immediately as I continued to avoid eye contact.’
      • ‘For some reason, this sent a flare of anger up in Jade, and she shoved him away and stood up, glaring at him.’
      • ‘Dale felt a sudden flare of protectiveness, possessive anger, and a father's pride.’
      • ‘I hope he chokes on it, she thought, her fear being overcome by a flare of anger.’
      • ‘A faint flare of anger had risen up in me, but I quickly extinguished the blaze.’
      • ‘I feel his lips curve into a smirk against my cheek and a flare of anger ignites within me.’
      • ‘She felt a flare of emotion in her chest, but forced that down too - distraction was not needed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Turning about, Jeremy felt a flare of anger as he saw the words on the wall at the head of the bed.’
      • ‘Ronnie felt a flare of anger spring up and he clenched his hands into fists, shooting a glare at Jessica.’
      • ‘His eyes widened a moment, a flare of sudden overwhelming emotion to which he could only stutter.’
      • ‘He spoke, in a very businesslike tone, the sudden flare of anger gone from his voice and attitude.’
      • ‘She saw another soldier join the battle, and felt a flare of anger.’
      • ‘He was only reading it to inspire a flare of anger.’
      burst, rush, attack, eruption, explosion, bout, spasm
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3Astronomy 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
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Massive solar explosions called flares often accompany coronal mass ejections, which emit solar material and a magnetic field.’
      • ‘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.’
    4. 1.4Photography Extraneous illumination on film caused by internal reflection in the camera.
      • ‘Light of this type can often cause lens flare and, if using auto focus, cause the camera to focus on the wrong subject.’
      • ‘I don't think we're seeing the effects of flare on the camera, though - it doesn't look like an optical effect.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Prime lenses are less susceptible to lens flare and also have a closer minimum focusing distance than do zooms.’
  • 2in singular A gradual widening, especially of a skirt or pants.

    ‘as you knit, add a flare or curve a hem’
    • ‘No trousers with flares here; instead the cut was close fitting.’
    • ‘It is loose cut through the leg, with a slight flare to add shape.’
    • ‘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. 2.1 An upward and outward curve of a vessel's bow, designed to throw the water outward when under way.

verb

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

    ‘the bonfire crackled and flared up’
    ‘the blaze across the water flared’
    • ‘The flames on his log flared higher, showering sparks all over his body - the same body covered with mead.’
    • ‘Witnesses described the screams of panicked residents and said people leapt from windows as the blaze flared through the entrance hall of the building.’
    • ‘Some residents jumped from windows as the blaze flared through the building's entrance.’
    • ‘Rilleta leaped lightly clear, and turned, flames flaring on her hands, ready to meet her death if she must.’
    • ‘As the sand hit it, the flame flared into angry whiteness and went out with a shower of sparks.’
    • ‘The flames flared and he climbed back into car, and drove away.’
    • ‘The maroon flames also rose and flared, before dying in a matter of seconds into a small pile of ashes.’
    • ‘As a breeze swept over the rubble, patches of flame flared here and there.’
    • ‘A sudden rush of red-gold flame flared in the corner, and Rakael spoke.’
    • ‘The spell died quickly, emerald flames flaring for a moment, then dissolving into nothing.’
    • ‘I saw the stars burn and flare against the velvety darkness.’
    • ‘On the horizon I can see great columns of smoke from burning wells, orange flame flaring at their base.’
    • ‘The thief absently watched the flames flaring around her, hearing her own harsh breathing echo around her over the crackle of the flames.’
    • ‘The ripples she had created by dipping her fingers caused the flame to flare and flicker.’
    • ‘The torches flared upon the walls, and the firepit blazed forth its red warmth.’
    • ‘Heart turned at a sudden crackle and watched as the demonic blades flared and burned, leaving not even scorches where they had fallen.’
    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 light or a person's eyes) glow with a sudden intensity.
      ‘her eyes flared at the stinging insult’
      • ‘He looked at her, eyes flaring, and then closed them.’
      • ‘Jen stopped next to the blond, her eyes flaring.’
      • ‘Then Peter's eyes flared silver and Katherine squealed and pulled back.’
      • ‘Light flared as the candle affixed to one wall lit with a twitch of his power.’
      • ‘Eric had backed him up against the wall in the hallway, his eyes flaring.’
      • ‘Juniper's smile returned, her eyes flaring like a cat's.’
      • ‘His eyes flared brilliantly, casting a silver light around the room.’
      • ‘Her eyes flared like starlight, and a spirited fire crackled within her soul.’
      • ‘Whipping around, she glared at me with her eyes flaring.’
      • ‘The soft silver glow in Drake's eyes flared for a moment, then died back down.’
      • ‘Cassandra purred, her eyes flaring to life and glowing a soft red in the semi-darkness, from behind the netting of her hat.’
      • ‘She looked up at him and her eyes flared with a golden light.’
      • ‘Its red eyes flared, until they were luminous lanterns of broiling crimson light.’
      • ‘She spun around, daggers ready and eyes flaring.’
      • ‘He blew around the corner, eyes flaring, whip whistling.’
      • ‘Her eyes were flaring with the wild untamed fire of her spirit.’
      • ‘He had seen the surprise in her eyes when the red light had flared.’
      • ‘I ran my nails down his back and his eyes flared in the light of the moon.’
      • ‘He's door flew open, and there he stood, eyes flaring, glaring at me.’
      • ‘Her other hand was grabbed by Samantha and her eyes were flaring.’
    2. 1.2 (of an emotion) suddenly become manifest in a person or their expression.
      ‘alarm flared in her eyes’
      ‘tempers flared’
      • ‘The incident was one of those moments when instant anger flared through my body.’
      • ‘Anger flared in Joe and he felt like shouting at her.’
      • ‘Shock and outrage flared in one of the other men.’
      • ‘Anger flared when the coroner, Dr Brian Farrell, offered his sympathy to the driver of the bus, a standard remark in most such cases.’
      • ‘‘They aren't protruding,’ she said, her temper flaring once more.’
      • ‘Emotions flared during the game when Yao Ming had to be restrained from going after Josh Howard after a hard foul.’
      • ‘Johnny called out desperately, but knew once his brother's temper flared, it had to run its course, just as Father's did.’
      • ‘Nerves are on edge and tempers have flared a few times, including my own.’
      • ‘His temper was flaring and it was about to go out of control.’
      • ‘All the anger that had flared seconds ago had been extinguished and now I could feel unshed tears burn the corner of my eyes.’
      • ‘Jealousy flared through him; why should Bernard get Adeline?’
      • ‘My temper was flaring and frustration surged through my body.’
      • ‘What shall I do to make their tempers flare a bit?’
      • ‘Her hovering spirit very suddenly returned to her body, and she turned her head to look after the shadow, rage suddenly flaring in her heart.’
      • ‘Rage flared in Robert, briefly overriding all other emotions, and he spun round in angry defiance.’
      • ‘Though well-meaning, they argue, the intense attention to their street has meant tempers have flared continually over the past year.’
      • ‘Officers surrounded by a baying crowd of around 40 people called in reinforcements as tempers flared and the situation threatened to get out of control.’
      • ‘Adrian's temper was beginning to flare, his facial expressions narrowing.’
      • ‘His parents separated; he left school and drifted from job to job; he picked up girls; he had a temper that could flare suddenly.’
      • ‘His temper has flared and now is a bad time to let him regain his cool.’
    3. 1.3flare up (of an illness or chronic medical complaint) recur unexpectedly and cause further discomfort.
      ‘Tracy's pain has flared up again, this time almost beyond enduring’
    4. 1.4 (especially of an argument, conflict, or trouble) suddenly become more violent or intense.
      ‘a recurrent border dispute flared up again’
      • ‘The robber gives predictably blood-curdling answers as his temper flares at the thought.’
      • ‘The president has faced criticism for his habit of heading overseas just as domestic crises flare out of control.’
      • ‘US capital markets have also been a refuge for many in recent years as emerging market crises flared from Russia and Brazil.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the years ahead tensions over water may flare in regions outside the Middle East as well.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As recently as last spring, a violent public response flared in Cincinnati under disturbingly familiar circumstances.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Periodic unrest has flared since, but yesterday's attack was among the worst.’
      • ‘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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    5. 1.5flare up (of a person) suddenly become angry.
      ‘she flared up, shouting at Jeff’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her skirt flared evenly around her, as did her hair, forming a light-colored fan behind her head.’
    • ‘At her knees, the skirt flared out in an emphasizing bubble.’
    • ‘It had long sleeves that slightly flared and over the dress she wore a slight scoop neck cloak.’
    • ‘The dress flared at the waist and had one hell of a train on it.’
    • ‘The bodice hugged my form and the skirt flared to give me enough room to run.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Do not give us shirt or raglan sleeves, or ‘shirtwaister’ styles with blousy tops, or flared or pleated skirts in boring patterns.’
    • ‘Shanna got a long black skirt with a black shirt that flared at the cuffs.’
    • ‘It flared out gradually from the hips and there was a slit on two sides.’
    • ‘For example, you can see where zippers are located, how the shoulder line falls or if the skirt is flared.’
    • ‘I adore the simple white dress with the slightly flared sleeves.’
    • ‘She had on purple leggings that barely flared and a too-small white top with glittery purple spirals.’
    • ‘Phoenix was wearing a long-sleeved forest green velvet dress that flared at the end of the sleeves.’
    • ‘The skirt flared out slightly at about hip-level, not very much though; it almost didn't have a waistline.’
    • ‘The bodice was fitting, but allowed movement, and the skirt flared out so that I could run about freely.’
    • ‘Her skirt was black and also flared out with the help of a crinoline petticoat underneath.’
    • ‘She was wearing a knee-length jean skirt that flared slightly at the bottom and cute sandals were on her dainty little feet.’
    • ‘The waist was small and tapered into a V, and the skirt flared out slightly, with filmy layers overlying the dress.’
    1. 2.1 (of a person's nostrils) dilate.
      ‘his head lifted, his nostrils flaring’
      • ‘Chino's nostrils flared, her ears pricked and her step got springy.’
      • ‘Cargo's nostrils flared madly as he lectured Finn.’
      • ‘His nostrils flared taking in the scent of all the flora around him.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The King's cheeks turned red and his nostrils flared.’
      • ‘Her nostrils flared wide as she jerked back, away from me.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Lexi's nostrils flared and she straightened her shoulders back.’
      • ‘His nostrils flared, then his mouth set in a hard line.’
      • ‘Erial's nostrils flared and her eyebrows moved down as she frowned.’
      • ‘His nostrils flared but his ears were pricked; he was listening.’
      • ‘It was Sylvie's nose, straight and long, narrowing in the middle just a little before the nostrils flared.’
      • ‘Alicia's nostrils flared at the use of the old nick name.’
      • ‘Edward's nostrils flared as he everything came back to him.’
      • ‘His nostrils flared considerably as he inhaled the deep odor.’
      • ‘Father's nostrils flared as he registered what he was seeing, and in an instant he was striding into the room.’
      • ‘Judging from the way his nostrils flared, I wouldn't be able to change whatever set route he was on.’
      • ‘His nostrils flared and he searched for the most effective words he could use.’
      spread, broaden, widen, get wider, expand, splay
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2with object (of a person) cause (the nostrils) to dilate.
      • ‘Tobias's nostrils were flared, and he had his arms held stiffly against his sides, with his hands clenched into fists.’
      • ‘I like big noses, especially when the person is able to flare the nostrils at will.’
      • ‘Mesa flared his nostrils, like a horse, and breathed in the deep autumn air.’
      • ‘He flared his nostrils, threatened anyone who decided to continue the Patience / Horse argument with violence.’
      • ‘He laughed as she flared her nostrils and picked up a piece of her sandwich.’
      • ‘I flare my nostrils ever so slightly and still feel like I've been smashed in the face by a baseball bat.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Bryony flared her nostrils, catching the scent of cooked meat.’
      • ‘Her large nostrils were permanently flared in an expression of exceeding displeasure at the world in general.’
      • ‘And then she threw back her head, flared her nostrils and stared at me.’
      • ‘His nostrils were flared, and his eyes were white rimmed.’
      • ‘Give it a go, you won't be sorry - just don't forget to flare those nostrils like you mean it.’
      • ‘Her black hair was knotted up tight, her cheekbones stuck out very high, and her nostrils were flared.’
      • ‘Even when he was a child, he flared his nostrils, just out of habit.’
      • ‘His nostrils were flared and his coat was sweaty from a run already completed with daily battle training.’
      • ‘He flared his nostrils as he tried to distinguish the smell.’
      • ‘Now Gott was flaring his nostrils and slowly flexing his muscles.’
      • ‘Syona lowered her head, lightly flaring her nostrils.’
      • ‘I heard Rhett flare his nostrils and I took a half step back just in case he had a wand hidden in his pants.’
      • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

flare

/flɛr//fler/