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From Middle English thryven, thriven, from Old Norse þrífa (to seize, grasp, take hold, prosper), from Proto-Germanic *þrībaną (to seize, prosper), from Proto-Indo-European *trep-, *terp- (to satisfy, enjoy). Cognate with Swedish trivas, Danish trives, Norwegian Bokmål trives.


  • IPA(key): /θɹaɪv/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪv


thrive (third-person singular simple present thrives, present participle thriving, simple past throve or thrived, past participle thriven or thrived)

  1. To grow or increase stature; to grow vigorously or luxuriantly, to flourish.
    Not all animals thrive well in captivity.
    to thrive upon hard work
    • 1820, Walter Scott, Ivanhoe; a Romance. [], volumes (please specify |volume=I to III), Edinburgh: [] Archibald Constable and Co.; London: Hurst, Robinson, and Co. [], →OCLC:
      “It seems to me, reverend father,” said the knight, “that the small morsels which you eat, together with this holy, but somewhat thin beverage, have thriven with you marvellously.”
    • 1855, Robert Browning, Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, section X:
      So, on I went. I think I never saw / Such starved ignoble nature; nothing throve: / For flowers - as well expect a cedar grove!
    • 1937, J. R. R. Tolkien, chapter 4, in The Hobbit:
      Dwarves had not passed that way for many years, but Gandalf had, and he knew how evil and danger had grown and thriven in the Wild, since the dragons had driven men from the lands, and the goblins had spread in secret after the battle of the Mines of Moria.
    • 1941, Emily Carr, chapter 3, in Klee Wyck[1]:
      The growing things jumbled themselves together into a dense thicket; so tensely earnest were things about growing in Skedans that everything linked with everything else, hurrying to grow to the limit of its own capacity; weeds and weaklings alike throve in the rich moistness.
  2. To increase in wealth or success; to prosper, be profitable.
    Since expanding in June, the business has really thrived.
    • c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene vii]:
      [] Deliver me the key.
      Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may!
    • 2012 April 29, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “Treehouse of Horror III” (season 4, episode 5; originally aired 10/29/1992)”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name)[2]:
      Though they obviously realized that these episodes were part of something wonderful and important and lasting, the writers and producers couldn’t have imagined that 20 years later “Treehouse Of Horror” wouldn’t just survive; it’d thrive as one of the most talked-about and watched episodes of every season of The Simpsons.


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.




From Middle English turf, torf, from Old English turf, from Proto-West Germanic *turb.


thrive (plural dhrivès)

  1. A sod of turf or peat.


  • Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 72