- Reach an optimum stage of development; blossom.
- (Of a substance) Lose moisture and turn to a fine powder on exposure to air.
“The song starts out slow, but it will effloresce when it reaches the chorus.”
“Keep the package sealed until you’re ready to use it, because the product will effloresce quickly.”
“My ninth-grade students often effloresce after a few weeks of getting comfortable in the high school environment.”
Latin, late 18th century
Why this word?
The Latin root “florescere” means “begin to bloom”; however, “effloresce” is not usually referring to literal blooming flowers. It’s usually used in a figurative description of something coming into maturity or peak performance. When using the alternate definition of “effloresce,” it has a specific chemical usage. When a substance effloresces upon contact with the air, it loses moisture and turns into a fine powder. The word can also be used to describe rocks or brickwork with a salt content that crystallizes on the surface.
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