Definitions

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

  • adj. Able to express oneself readily and effortlessly: a fluent speaker; fluent in three languages.
  • adj. Flowing effortlessly; polished: speaks fluent Russian; gave a fluent performance of the sonata.
  • adj. Flowing or moving smoothly; graceful: a yacht with long, fluent curves.
  • adj. Flowing or capable of flowing; fluid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. That flows; flowing, liquid.
  • adj. Able to speak a language accurately, rapidly, and confidently – in a flowing way.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Flowing or capable of flowing; liquid; glodding; easily moving.
  • adj. Ready in the use of words; voluble; copious; having words at command; and uttering them with facility and smoothness; ; hence, flowing; voluble; smooth; -- said of language.
  • n. A current of water; a stream.
  • n. A variable quantity, considered as increasing or diminishing; -- called, in the modern calculus, the function or integral.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Flowing or capable of flowing; having a flowing motion, or an appearance as of flowing; changeable; not rigid.
  • Ready in the use of words; using words with facility; voluble: as, a fluent speaker or writer.
  • Proceeding from a facility of ready copious speech; marked by copiousness of speech: as, fluent utterance; a fluent style.
  • n. A stream; a current of water.
  • n. In the doctrine of fluxions, the variable or flowing quantity in fluxions which is continually increasing or decreasing; an integral. See fluxion.
  • In fluxions, enlarging (or diminishing) continuously, that is, by infinitesimal increments (+ or —).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. smooth and unconstrained in movement
  • adj. expressing yourself readily, clearly, effectively

Etymologies

Latin fluēns, fluent-, present participle of fluere, to flow; see bhleu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin fluens ("flowing"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The reason that I bothered with the argument of vowelless [mz] being pronounceable is simply that I do, in fluent speech, usually produce the vowelless [mz], and therefore wanted to explain the more objectionable position, figuring the vowelled pronunciation of Ms. could defend itself.

    “Ms.”-ing the point « Motivated Grammar

  • But note that it took substantial analysis to realize that — certainly more than us case-deprived English speakers are prepared to do in fluent speech.

    2009 October « Motivated Grammar

  • The beautiful Sofia Milos (CSI: Miami) snagged an oversized handbag charm necklace from Rosato, all the while chatting with Ms. Simona Rosato and staff in fluent Italian, and describing her pieces as “molto originale!”.

    Primary Action’s Liberace Oscar Gift Suite was Pure Luxury

  • Job advertisements nearly always carry the phrase "bilingual Spanish/English preferred," or sometimes required, as in "fluent in Spanish."

    Should Mexico Become Officially Bilingual?

  • Yet this does not quite add up: The rioters are not immigrants (even if their parents were); they are culturally assimilated and live their lives in fluent French.

    huge, frustrated, hopeless

  • Dementieva's best moment of the day came during the trophy presentation when she spoke in fluent French to the delight of the crowd.

    USATODAY.com - Myskina beats Dementieva to win French Open title

  • Mexicans are very very friendly and polite, in most cases I wouldn't hesitate to seek their help or follow their recommendations, (trust your instincts), never had a bad experience driving South of the border, then again I'm not a female and I'm fluent is Spanish, guess that helps.

    Looooong Rode Trip

  • Vorilhon — who later styled himself “Rael” — says they told him, in fluent French, that human beings were created by aliens through genetic engineering.

    Japan’s Raelians hold parade to celebrate human clone births

  • The extraterrestrial's first words, in fluent French, were "You regret not having brought your camera?"

    Oh, Gods!

  • This language disorder is characterized by fluent, jargon-filled speech and impaired comprehension of the speech of others 355.

    The Neuropsychiatric Guide to Modern Everyday Psychiatry

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