from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The period during which a person, school, or movement was most active or flourishing.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The time period during which a person, group, culture, etc. is at its peak.


Latin flōruit, third person sing. perfect tense of flōrēre, to flourish; see flourish.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin floruit ("he/she flourished"). (Wiktionary)



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  • -he/she flourished; used to indicate the high point of a person's life or career when his/her dates of birth are unknown.

    October 19, 2010

  • I noticed the way you used the word in your comment on champaign ("in its floruit") and thought that was strange, since I always mentally substitute the word "flourished" whenever I (rarely) encounter "floruit". I never think of this word as a noun, though you are right, some dictionaries do list it as such. Still, I didn't think it really functioned as a noun, i.e. you couldn't really say "the floruit of this philosopher was the early third century C.E." -- but apparently some people do use it like this.

    September 28, 2008

  • Rolig, it's used as you describe in my field, although as "flourished" rather than "floruit". I don't recall having seen "floruit" before today. I took the definition from MW3, adding style and pronunciation as examples.

    September 28, 2008

  • Although some dictionaries may give this word as a noun with the meaning mollusque notes, it seems strange to me to use it simply as a synonym for "period of greatest activity". The word is Latin and means "he or she flourished". Today, and traditionally, this word is generally confined to academic writing when we don't know exactly the birth and death years of some historical figure but only know when he or she was active, and it is usually abbreviated as "fl.": for example: "the icon painter Theophanes the Greek (fl. late 14th century)". Mollusque, is it used differently in your field?

    September 27, 2008

  • The period during which something (a person, a style, a movement, a pronunciation) flourished most.

    September 27, 2008