Etymology: Middle English, from Old English flōwan; akin to Old High German flouwen to rinse, wash, Latin pluere to rain, Greek plein to sail, float
Date: before 12th century
(1) to issue or move in a stream
b. to move with a continual change of place among the constituent particles <molasses flows slowly> 2. rise <the tide ebbs and flows> 3. abound <a land flowing with natural resources> 4. a. to proceed smoothly and readily <conversation flowed easily> b. to have a smooth continuity 5. to hang loose and billowing <her gown flowed around her> 6. to derive from a source ; come <the wealth that flows from trade> 7. to deform under stress without cracking or rupturing — used especially of minerals and rocks 8. menstruate transitive verb 1. to cause to flow 2. to discharge in a flow Synonyms: see spring • flowingly adverb II. noun Date: 15th century 1. an act of flowing 2. a. flood 1a b. flood 2 <the tide's ebb and flow> 3. a. a smooth uninterrupted movement or progress <a flow of information> b. stream; also a mass of material which has flowed when molten <an old lava flow> c. the direction of movement or development <go with the flow> 4. the quantity that flows in a certain time <a gauge that measures fuel flow> 5. menstruation 6. a. the motion characteristic of fluids b. a continuous transfer of energy
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.