Definition of flow verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//fləʊ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//floʊ//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they flow
    BrE BrE//fləʊ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//floʊ//
    he / she / it flows
    BrE BrE//fləʊz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//floʊz//
    past simple flowed
    BrE BrE//fləʊd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//floʊd//
    past participle flowed
    BrE BrE//fləʊd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//floʊd//
    -ing form flowing
    BrE BrE//ˈfləʊɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈfloʊɪŋ//
    jump to other results
    move continuously
  1. 1  [intransitive] (of liquid, gas or electricity) to move steadily and continuously in one direction She lost control and the tears began to flow. + adv./prep. It's here that the river flows down into the ocean. Blood flowed from a cut on her head. This can prevent air from flowing freely to the lungs. the electric currents flowing through the cables
  2. 2  [intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) (of people or things) to move or pass continuously from one place or person to another, especially in large numbers or amounts Constant streams of traffic flowed past. Election results flowed in throughout the night. They examined the way in which information flowed between the firm’s 300 employees.
  3. of ideas/conversation
  4. 3[intransitive] to develop or be produced in an easy and natural way Conversation flowed freely throughout the meal. We hope that the debate on this issue will continue to flow.
  5. be available easily
  6. 4[intransitive] to be available easily and in large amounts It was obvious that money flowed freely in their family. The party got livelier as the drink began to flow.
  7. of feeling
  8. 5[intransitive] + adv./prep. to be felt strongly by somebody Fear and excitement suddenly flowed over me. He envied the affection that flowed between the boy and the old man.
  9. of clothes/hair
  10. 6[intransitive] flow (down/over something) to hang loosely and freely Her hair flowed down over her shoulders. long flowing skirts
  11. of the sea
  12. 7[intransitive] (of the tide in the sea/ocean) to come in towards the land opposite ebb
  13. Word OriginOld English flōwan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vloeien, also to flood.Extra examples Blood was still flowing from the wound. Her long hair flowed in the wind as she ran. Imported food aid continued to flow in. In a good production of the play, the action and the words flow naturally. Information flows continuously through the network. One day seemed to flow into the next. Some of these changes will flow directly from the legislation. The best thing is when ideas flow in both directions. The number of buyers has ebbed and flowed. The river flows quite fast here. The sea ebbed and flowed. The songs flow seamlessly into one another. We talked, and the conversation flowed freely. Wine and beer flowed freely. a small stream that flowed down the hillside to get blood flowing to the brain He lost control and the tears began to flow. It’s here that the river flows down into the ocean. The current flowing in a circuit is measured by connecting an ammeter. Phrasal Verbsflow from something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: flow