Word curio icon

Word Curio

July 9, 2019

Word of the Day: Flair

2 CQ

Word of the Day : July 9, 2019

flair \FLAIR\ noun


1 : a skill or instinctive ability to appreciate or make good use of something : talent; also : inclination, tendency

2 : a uniquely attractive quality : style

Did You Know?

In the 14th century, if someone told you that you had flair (or flayre as it was then commonly spelled), you might very well take offense. This is because in Middle English flayre meant "an odor." The word is derived from the Old French verb flairier ("to give off an odor"), which came, in turn, from Late Latin flagrare, itself an alteration of fragrare. (The English words fragrant and fragrance also derive from fragrare.) The "odor" sense of flair fell out of use, but in the 19th century, English speakers once again borrowed flair from the French—this time (influenced by the Modern French use of the word for the sense of smell) to indicate a discriminating sense or instinctive discernment.

Aired July 9, 2019

All Merriam-Webster content is available at

  • Recommended Recommended
  • History & In Progress History
  • Browse Library
  • Most Popular Library

Get Personalized Recommendations

Let us help you figure out what to learn! By taking a short interview you’ll be able to specify your learning interests and goals, so we can recommend the perfect courses and lessons to try next.

Start Interview

You don't have any lessons in your history.
Just find something that looks interesting and start learning!

500 characters max