1. Italian Firenze. a city in central Italy, on the Arno River: capital of the former grand duchy of Tuscany.
  2. a city in NW Alabama, on the Tennessee River.
  3. a city in E South Carolina.
  4. a town in N Kentucky.
  5. a female given name: from a Latin word meaning “flowery.”


  1. a city in central Italy, on the River Arno in Tuscany: became an independent republic in the 14th century; under Austrian and other rule intermittently from 1737 to 1859; capital of Italy 1865–70. It was the major cultural and artistic centre of the Renaissance and is still one of the world’s chief art centres. Pop: 356 118 (2001)Ancient name: Florentia (flɒˈrɛntsɪə, -ˈrɛntɪə) Italian name: Firenze

fem. proper name, from Latin Florentia, fem. of Florentius, literally “blooming,” from florens (genitive florentis), present participle of florere “to flower” (see flourish).

The c.1700 “Dictionary of the Canting Crew” defines Florence as a slang word for “a Wench that is touz’d and ruffled.” This was also the Italian city name (Roman Colonia Florentia, “flowering colony,” either literal or figurative), which became Old Italian Fiorenze, in modern Italian Firenze.

City in central Italy on the Arno River.

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