Definition of florid in English:



  • 1Having a red or flushed complexion.

    ‘a stout man with a florid face’
    • ‘Mr Carker was a gentleman thirty-eight or forty years old, of a florid complexion, and with two unbroken rows of glistening teeth, whose regularity and whiteness were quite distressing.’
    • ‘Reynolds painted his florid, bald, ruddy countenance many times, and for decades less distinguished portraits swung outside countless taverns.’
    • ‘After only a few minutes my normally florid complexion had begun to resemble Florida.’
    • ‘Added to this influence was the deep impression made upon his mind by the florid sumptuousness of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, whose works he had an opportunity of studying in Venice before he returned to Paris in 1761.’
    • ‘Kara stared aghast as the brawny Maggie Finch, with a florid complexion like red brick and forearms like a butcher's, rolled up her sleeves and went to meet the threat of the two men in black Greek fisherman's garb.’
    • ‘The first definition is: a bodily condition characterized by an excess of blood and marked by turgescence and a florid complexion but of course I am using it in its main sense.’
    • ‘As usual in his Neapolitan operas, there are also splendid opportunities for rival tenors - the dark, baritonal villain Antenore and the light, florid tenore di grazia Ilo - to pit their vocal skills against each other.’
    • ‘His florid face, unusual in the South, bobbed up and down, side to side, as his conversation galloped forward at the speed of thought.’
    • ‘Think of high blood pressure - or hypertension as doctors call it - and you probably think headaches, dizzy spells and a florid complexion.’
    • ‘His features and florid complexion are all too familiar to readers of The Sunday Times, where he provides the savoury delights in the restaurant pages of Style magazine.’
    • ‘He was a rotund, florid, bad-tempered, red-haired man who would shout orders.’
    • ‘All over campus are people whose complexions have turned from pale to florid in the space of just a few days.’
    • ‘Twenty-two years later, as Duchess of Lauderdale and already somewhat florid, but with a defiantly low corsage, she sat again for Lely with the Duke her husband.’
    • ‘He was a great big fellow with a florid complexion and blue eyes, and was utterly devoid of fear, nothing that came in his direction being too hot for him to handle.’
    ruddy, red, red-faced, reddish, rosy, rosy-cheeked, pink, pinkish, roseate, rubicund
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  • 2Elaborately or excessively intricate or complicated.

    ‘florid operatic-style music was out’
    • ‘His furniture and interior designs, often made in collaboration with his wife Margaret Macdonald, are characteristically art nouveau while avoiding florid excess.’
    • ‘State buildings neighbour the florid works of nineteenth-century Russian and Viennese architects.’
    • ‘Matthews was inspired by Geoffrey Hill's poem sequence on the subject, Funeral music, which Hill himself described as ‘a florid grim music broken by grunts and shrieks’.’
    • ‘On the plus side was the intriguingly ornate solo piano part, with florid additions, one may speculate, to compensate for the thinner strings.’
    • ‘There is nothing florid here, nothing in the tradition of Romantic harp music.’
    • ‘Like Herodotus's exciting account of Leonidas and his 300 spunky Spartans holding up the entire Persian army at Thermopylae, this is story-telling so florid and fantastical that Tolkien himself might have written it.’
    • ‘They play works from the baroque and classical periods on original instruments, and present some of the world's finest singers of florid music when they work in opera.’
    • ‘It is sad to hear the veteran struggling with Rossini's florid music as the titular Turk, and both buffo baritones are, frankly, provincial.’
    • ‘Ritter's one work has harmonic richness and operatic swagger in its florid vocal writing.’
    • ‘All the same, busy foyer ceramics and florid room furnishings suggest a resort ripe for refurbishment.’
    • ‘Sedov, a young Israeli of Russian extraction, has a characterful voice - not unlike Ramey's, come to think of it - and he negotiates Rossini's florid music with aplomb.’
    • ‘During nearly half a century's worth of participation in the cat fancy, she had written her name in large, florid letters across its record books.’
    • ‘Adult castrati could sing the most florid music imaginable and continued to preserve the Pauline ban on female voices in church - at least in the pope's Sistine Chapel in Rome - until the 20th century.’
    • ‘The other side of Cuban music was the romantic ballads of people like Beny Moré - florid, sentimental stories backed by the sensual music of Oriente.’
    • ‘Her gestures, however, can seem too mannered, even by the florid standards of Baroque song recitals.’
    • ‘In an age when the life of the spirit is besieged by the excesses of a florid globalism, claimants to sole proprietorship of truth have never been more numerous.’
    • ‘I remember my mother grinding up tablets of Largactil (the major tranquilliser chlorpromazine) to put in his tea in the hope of dampening his florid auditory hallucinations.’
    • ‘Harris looks great in Jess Goldstein's Joan Collins gowns, she packs a mean pistol, and she even sings the florid music with considerable grace and élan.’
    • ‘Between the Kyrie and Gloria we get one of Andrea's florid organ intonations; lovely scene setting music.’
    • ‘The ceremony was as elaborate as ever, and the certificate looked as florid as before; but some things had changed in Curacao in three years: rumors of autonomy and even independence were in the air.’
    ornate, fancy, very elaborate, over-elaborate, embellished, curlicued, extravagant, flamboyant, baroque, rococo, fussy, busy, ostentatious, showy, wedding-cake, gingerbread
    flowery, flamboyant, high-flown, high-sounding, magniloquent, grandiloquent, ornate, fancy, baroque, orotund, rhetorical, oratorical, bombastic, laboured, strained, overwrought, elaborate, over-elaborate, overblown, overripe, overdone, convoluted, turgid, inflated
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    1. 2.1(of language) using unusual words or complicated rhetorical constructions.
      ‘the florid prose of the nineteenth century’
      • ‘But instead what happens is that legitimate concerns get pushed aside by florid rhetoric and high dudgeon, debate gets polarised, until eventually everyone gets bored and blogging continues pretty much as it did before.’
      • ‘Considering that a location map is usually a prosaic affair, the use of such florid prose is indicative of the importance attached to the aesthetic qualities of the island's geology.’
      • ‘The expression on my face would not be one of ladylike grace and anyone standing close enough to the truck that morning heard the full range of my florid vocabulary learned at my Daddy's knee.’
      • ‘So you can use your florid words and twisted metaphors to make me see your point?’
      • ‘The report's recommendations were striking, however, not for their expansive ambition or their florid language but for the speed with which they became reality.’
      • ‘Now, those of you who have already passed some time at this exalted seat of learning will surely have identified the author of this somewhat florid prose.’
      • ‘I wonder if readers take these cliches and contrived metaphors at face value, or do they all snigger at the florid prose.’
      • ‘In her first letter written in Huntsville, on Christmas Eve 1817, she described in florid prose her arrival that day.’
      • ‘In the absence of florid imagery and beautifully-crafted prose, all I can tell you is that the new album is ace.’
      • ‘Much of it is a good read, although some of the writing is florid and the metaphors extravagant.’
      • ‘Some judges and magistrates tend to clothe their remarks in florid language which is likely to appeal to reporters.’
      • ‘‘You look sad,’ Fay said simply - florid language had never been his style.’
      • ‘All these things cohere because of the surrealism and typical Spanish violence of the juxtapositions, the balance between flat prose and highly florid colouration.’
      • ‘The accompanying text celebrates her virtue and health in typically winsome and florid language.’
      • ‘Expressing ourselves in quite such florid language about what we are is why fingers are pointed at us.’
      • ‘In florid language, the article describes his ‘flamboyant’ mood and attendance at lap-dancing clubs and expensive restaurants.’
      • ‘We can toothcomb the statistics, scowl over the double counting, curl a lip at florid rhetoric.’
      • ‘The baroque style with its florid language and stock allegories lasted longer in Ukraine than in Western Europe.’
      • ‘There is a hole at the core of his personality, and his florid prose and arid intellectualism has, for too long, prevented us from admitting it.’
      • ‘That was probably a reaction to the florid language Rothwell used - and an initial response to the content.’
      extravagant, grandiloquent, magniloquent, high-flown, high-sounding, sonorous, lofty, orotund, bombastic, grandiose, pompous, pretentious, overblown, overripe, oratorical, turgid, flowery, declamatory, ciceronian
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  • 3Medicine
    (of a disease or its manifestations) occurring in a fully developed form.

    ‘florid symptoms of psychiatric disorder’
    • ‘The present case was a diagnostic challenge because the dominant feature of the lesion was florid giant cell proliferation.’
    • ‘Or they may come with, or deteriorate by rapidly developing, florid pneumonia or septicaemia with multi-organ failure and die in spite of the usual treatments.’
    • ‘To our knowledge, this is the first reported case in which florid parvovirus infection and subsequent recovery was documented by sequential bone marrow examination.’
    • ‘He volunteered for the prison medical service, but as the war turned against the Japanese, and rations were stopped, he and his colleagues were unable to prevent the florid level of malnutrition that developed.’
    • ‘These were associated with florid acute inflammation, including microabscesses, an indication of the acute nature and severity of the process.’


Mid 17th century: from Latin floridus, from flos, flor- flower.