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See also: Flurry



Perhaps an American English blend of flutter and hurry. Alternatively, perhaps from an obsolete term flurr (scatter).



flurry (plural flurries)

  1. A light, brief snowfall.
  2. A sudden and brief blast or gust; a light, temporary breeze.
    a flurry of wind
    • 1945 May and June, Cecil J. Allen, “British Locomotive Practice and Performance”, in Railway Magazine, page 152:
      When the right-away was given, Driver Gibson would give a sonorous blast on Cardean's deep-toned hooter, and amid a flurry of swirling steam the train would move majestically out, with nearly half the city of Carlisle—or so it would appear—as onlookers on the platform.
  3. A shower of dust, leaves etc. brought on by a sudden gust of wind.
  4. (figurative) Any sudden activity; a stir.
    • 1912, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Lost World [], London, New York, N.Y.: Hodder and Stoughton, →OCLC:
      "I missed the beast in my flurry, but he dropped you all right and was off like a streak."
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 10, in The China Governess[1]:
      With a little manœuvring they contrived to meet on the doorstep which was [] in a boiling stream of passers-by, hurrying business people speeding past in a flurry of fumes and dust in the bright haze.
    • 1998, Gillian Catriona Ramchand, Deconstructing the Lexicon, in Miriam Butt and Wilhelm Geuder, eds. “The Projection of Arguments”
      These [argument structure] modifications are important because they have provoked a flurry of investigation into argument structure operations of merger, demotion etc.
    • 1998, Jonathan Langley, Collins Bedtime Treasury of Nursery Rhymes and Tales, Pigs to Market, page 53:
      Higglety, pigglety, pop!
      The dog has eaten the mop;
      The pig's in a hurry,
      The cat's in a flurry,
      Higglety, pigglety, pop!
    • 2011 January 8, Chris Bevan, “Arsenal 1 - 1 Leeds”, in BBC[2]:
      The Championship highflyers almost got their reward for a resilient performance on their first visit to the Emirates, surviving a flurry of first-half Arsenal chances before hitting back with a classic sucker punch.
    The day before the wedding was a flurry of preparations.
  5. A snack consisting of soft ice cream mixed with small pieces of fruit, cookie crumbs, etc.
    • 1988 October, K. Wayne Wride, “Fruit Treats”, in Vegetarian Times, number 134, page 27:
      Does your "Forbidden Foods" list include banana splits, ice cream sundaes, slurpies, popsicles, frozen yogurts, milk shakes, and ice cream flurries? These foods taste great but have a reputation for being bad for your health.
    • 2002, Tampa Bay Magazine (volume 17, number 3, May-June 2002, page 235)
      They will make your tongue smile with their homemade ice cream, which was voted "Best Taste in the USA Today." Enjoy exciting toppings to personalize your treat or a yummy sundae, flurry, smoothie, banana split or shake...
  6. The violent spasms of a dying whale.
    • 1851, Herman Melville, chapter 84, in Moby Dick, Pitchpoling:
      Again and again to such gamesome talk, the dexterous dart is repeated, the spear returning to its master like a greyhound held in skilful leash. The agonized whale goes into his flurry; the tow-line is slackened, and the pitchpoler dropping astern, folds his hands, and mutely watches the monster die.
  7. An occurrence of something (countable instances) in large numbers, happening suddenly or in a short period of time.
    Synonyms: volley, barrage
    The fencer landed a flurry of hits on her opponent.
    The think piece provoked a flurry of media responses for the remainder of the week.



flurry (third-person singular simple present flurries, present participle flurrying, simple past and past participle flurried)

  1. (transitive) To agitate, bewilder, fluster.
    • 1847 January – 1848 July, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 1, in Vanity Fair [], London: Bradbury and Evans [], published 1848, →OCLC:
      And so venturing not to say another word, poor Jemima trotted off, exceedingly flurried and nervous.
    • 1897, Henry James, What Maisie Knew:
      She was flurried by the term with which he had qualified her gentle friend, but she took the occasion for one to which she must in every manner lend herself.
  2. (intransitive) To move or fall in a flurry.

Derived terms[edit]