The word flow has many shades of meaning but most involve the steady movement of something. Water can flow in a river, electricity can flow through a wire, and talk might also flow as you sit and chat with friends.

The verb flow often describes the movement of fluids, such as water or even blood, but it can also describe other things that move in a constant stream. When you get that high-paying job, money might flow into your bank account. Until then, offers for help might flow in when you need to pay your credit card bill. Flow has a noun form as well. You might watch the flow of traffic on the street.

Definitions of flow
  1. verb
    move along, of liquids
    “Water flowed into the cave”
    synonyms: course, feed, run
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    flow freely
    gush, jet
    issue in a jet; come out in a jet; stream or spring forth
    surge, tide
    rise or move forward
    move through a space, circuit or system, returning to the starting point
    eddy, purl, swirl, whirl, whirlpool
    flow in a circular current, of liquids
    run off, waste
    run off as waste
    run down
    move downward
    flow in a spurt
    run out, spill
    flow, run or fall out and become lost
    stream, well out
    flow freely and abundantly
    dribble, filter, trickle
    run or flow slowly, as in drops or in an unsteady stream
    drain, run out
    flow off gradually
    ooze, seep
    pass gradually or leak through or as if through small openings
    flow in small streams
    flush down, wash down
    flow freely
    circulate through and freshen
    stream in jets, of liquids
    gush, spirt, spout, spurt
    gush forth in a sudden stream or jet
    pour or rush back
    leach, percolate
    permeate or penetrate gradually
    brim over, overflow, overrun, run over, well over
    flow or run over (a limit or brim)
    type of:
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  2. verb
    move or progress freely as if in a stream
    “The crowd flowed out of the stadium”
    synonyms: flux
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    cockle, riffle, ripple, ruffle, undulate
    stir up (water) so as to form ripples
    transpirate, transpire
    pass through the tissue or substance or its pores or interstices, as of gas
    type of:
    move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  3. verb
    fall or flow in a certain way
    “Her long black hair flowed down her back”
    synonyms: fall, hang
  4. verb
    cause to flow
    “The artist flowed the washes on the paper”
  5. noun
    the motion characteristic of fluids (liquids or gases)
    synonyms: flowing
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    fountain, jet
    an artificially produced flow of water
    ebb, reflux
    the outward flow of the tide
    backflow, backflowing
    a flow that returns toward its source
    air flow, airflow, flow of air
    the flow of air
    current, stream
    a steady flow of a fluid (usually from natural causes)
    freshet, spate
    the occurrence of a water flow resulting from sudden rain or melting snow
    overflow, overspill, runoff
    the occurrence of surplus liquid (as water) exceeding the limit or capacity
    drippage, dripping
    a liquid (as water) that flows in drops (as from the eaves of house)
    discharge, outpouring, run
    the pouring forth of a fluid
    flux, fluxion
    a flow or discharge
    ooze, oozing, seepage
    the process of seeping
    dribble, drip, trickle
    flowing in drops; the formation and falling of drops of liquid
    the occurrence of a flow of water (as from a pipe)
    flush, gush, outpouring
    a sudden rapid flow (as of water)
    rush, spate, surge, upsurge
    a sudden forceful flow
    tidal current, tidal flow
    the water current caused by the tides
    rip current, riptide
    a strong surface current flowing outwards from a shore
    undercurrent, undertide
    a current below the surface of a fluid
    backflow of blood through a defective heart valve
    torrent, violent stream
    a violently fast stream of water (or other liquid)
    exudation, transudation
    the process of exuding; the slow escape of liquids from blood vessels through pores or breaks in the cell membranes
    intravenous drip
    slow continuous drip introducing solutions intravenously (a drop at a time)
    eddy, twist
    a miniature whirlpool or whirlwind resulting when the current of a fluid doubles back on itself
    maelstrom, vortex, whirlpool
    a powerful circular current of water (usually the result of conflicting tides)
    jet, spirt, spurt, squirt
    the occurrence of a sudden discharge (as of liquid)
    escape, leak, leakage, outflow
    the discharge of a fluid from some container
    debris storm, debris surge
    the sudden spread of dust and debris from a collapsing building
    a forceful forward rush or flow
    a swelling rush of anything
    ocean current
    the steady flow of surface ocean water in a prevailing direction
    type of:
    change of location, travel
    a movement through space that changes the location of something
  6. noun
    the act of flowing or streaming; continuous progression
    synonyms: stream
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    release, spill, spillage
    the act of allowing a fluid to escape
    flood, outpouring, overflow
    a large flow
    flow under pressure
    type of:
    motion, move, movement
    the act of changing location from one place to another
  7. noun
    any uninterrupted stream or discharge
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    airstream, backwash, race, slipstream, wash
    the flow of air that is driven backwards by an aircraft propeller
    turbulent flow
    flow in which the velocity at any point varies erratically
    streamline flow
    flow of a gas or liquid in which the velocity at any point is relatively steady
    flow into something (as a container)
    gradual internal motion or deformation of a solid body (as by heat)
    inflow, influx
    the process of flowing in
    effluence, efflux, outflow
    the process of flowing out
    turbulent water with swells of considerable size
    laminar flow
    nonturbulent streamline flow in parallel layers (laminae)
    inpour, inpouring, inrush
    an inflow
    refilling, renewal, replacement, replenishment
    filling again by supplying what has been used up
    type of:
    action, activity, natural action, natural process
    a process existing in or produced by nature (rather than by the intent of human beings)
  8. noun
    something that resembles a flowing stream in moving continuously
    “the museum had planned carefully for the flow of visitors”
    synonyms: stream
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    type of:
    a state of change
  9. noun
    the amount of fluid that flows in a given time
    synonyms: flow rate, rate of flow
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    cardiac output
    the amount of blood pumped out by the ventricles in a given period of time
    type of:
    a magnitude or frequency relative to a time unit
  10. noun
    dominant course (suggestive of running water) of successive events or ideas
    “the flow of thought”
    synonyms: current, stream
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    type of:
    course, line, trajectory
    a connected series of events or actions or developments
  11. verb
    be abundantly present
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    type of:
    be, exist
    have an existence, be extant
  12. verb
    cover or swamp with water
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    lap, lave, wash
    wash or flow against
    type of:
    cover with liquid, usually water
  13. verb
    undergo menstruation
    synonyms: menstruate
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    type of:
    bleed, hemorrhage, shed blood
    lose blood from one's body
  14. noun
    the monthly discharge of blood from the uterus of nonpregnant women from puberty to menopause
    synonyms: catamenia, menses, menstruation, menstruum, period
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    hypermenorrhea, menorrhagia
    abnormally heavy or prolonged menstruation; can be a symptom of uterine tumors and can lead to anemia if prolonged
    abnormally light or infrequent menstruation
    type of:
    discharge, emission, expelling
    any of several bodily processes by which substances go out of the body
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