1. spoken or written with ease: fluent French.
  2. able to speak or write smoothly, easily, or readily: a fluent speaker; fluent in six languages.
  3. easy; graceful: fluent motion; fluent curves.
  4. flowing, as a stream.
  5. capable of flowing; fluid, as liquids or gases.
  6. easily changed or adapted; pliant.


  1. the quality of being fluent, esp facility in speech or writing


  1. able to speak or write a specified foreign language with facility
  2. spoken or written with facilityhis French is fluent
  3. easy and graceful in motion or shape
  4. flowing or able to flow freely

1620s, “abundance,” later “smooth and easy flow” (1630s), from fluent + -cy. Replaced earlier fluence (c.1600).


1580s, “flowing freely” (of water, also of speech), from Latin fluentem (nominative fluens) “lax, relaxed,” figuratively “flowing, fluent,” present participle of fluere “to flow, stream, run, melt,” from PIE *bhleugw-, extended form of *bhleu- “to swell, well up, overflow” (cf. Latin flumen “river;” Greek phluein “to boil over, bubble up,” phlein “to abound”), an extension of root *bhel- (2) “to blow, inflate, swell;” see bole. Used interchangeably with fluid in Elizabethan times. Related: Fluently.

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