The Meaning of Thrive: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of thrive? This guide will provide you with all of the info you need on the word thrive, including its definition, etymology, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word thrive mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, the word Thrive is a verb that means to prosper or flourish. If someone is thriving, they are doing very well. This is considered an intransitive verb. 

Many different languages also contain words that mean thrive (thrīv). You may notice that in this list of translations of thrive from Word Sense, many of these words look and sound similar to one another. These are called cognates. Cognates are when two words in different languages look and sound similar to each other and also have a similar meaning. These are formed when two words have the same root or language of origin. 

  •  Turkish: gelişmek‎, inkişaf etmek‎
  •  Maori: ngaruru‎, whakapuāwai‎
  •  Faroese: ærast‎ (of plants)
  •  German: gedeihen‎, prosperieren‎
  •  Swedish: frodas‎
  •  Mandarin: 繁榮‎, 繁荣‎ (fánróng)
  •  Norwegian: blomstre‎
  •  Spanish: prosperar‎, crecer‎, medrar‎
  •  Czech: prospívat‎ (impf), prosperovat‎ (impf)
  •  French: prospérer‎
  •  Japanese: 繁栄‎
  •  Danish: trives‎
  •  Arabic: ظَهَرَ‎
  •  Russian: расцветать‎ (impf), цвести‎ (impf), разрастаться‎ (impf), буйно расти‎, пышно расти‎
  •  Italian: prosperare‎
  •  Portuguese: prosperar‎, desenvolver-se‎
  •  Serbo-Croatian: bujati‎
  •  Finnish: viihtyä (of plants)
  •  Scots: dae guid‎

You can also find many different translations in things like a Spanish dictionary, German dictionary, Italian dictionary 1st edition, English-Spanish medical dictionary, French electronic resource and more! See if you can figure out the translations of the following: расцветать prosperovať uspevati imati, prospera набираться сил, tierra del fuego, compound ascidiae, 兴旺, prosperar kosuma, tarpti augt, dafna prosperare, tampak sehat, ευδοκιμώ crecer mucho, blomstre dobrze się rozwijać desenvolver, zelt berkembang maju gedijen, crecer muy bien, gli fa bene, napredovati növekszik makin kuat, crescere 栄える 무럭무럭 자라다 klestėti, gedy ينْجَح, bien profiter, chiloe,  يَزْدَهِر процъфтявам desenvolver-se prospívat gedeihen, rasti, corallines, plaukt, crustacea, αναπτύσσομαι, ˈθrəʊv, fucus, thrĭv, frodas, prospérer, trivas, blomstra, ottimo, utvecklas.

What is the origin of the word thrive?

Thrive is a word of obscure origin. According to Etymonline, this word has been used since the 13th century. It is from a Scandinavian source, like the Old Norse þrifask. This is probably reflexive of þrifa or reflexive of thrífa and is comparable to the Norwegian triva, Swedish trifvas, and Danish trives, from the root vi. One can add the suffixes ed and ing to thrive to make the related words thrived (vb.) and thriving (vb./adj.). Sometimes, you might see the past tense throve (thrōv.) or thriven (ˈθrɪv ən). Another word of similar origin is thrift. 

How can thrive be used in a sentence?

The word thrive can be used in many different ways in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to add their meanings to your vocabulary. You could also try making flashcards or quizzes to test your knowledge. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today. Below are several examples of the word thrive to get you started.

The new student thrived after transferring schools. She no longer had to deal with bullying, and could focus on academics and friendship. Her first day was a high point in her life; absolute perfection. 

The influenza virus was able to thrive and spread quickly from person to person at the tourism conference in the northern parts of Spain. It hit a wide range of people and no one could get a grasp on the steady progress it made throughout the meetings.

Surprisingly, the thriving ecosystem at the certain latitude had dry conditions which took good care of the remaining dunes. The kelp, peach trees, strawberries, tree-ferns and other different species of plant would not survive in that climate with such sandy soil. The tree seldom produces fruit in the best conditions.

The deer population were thriving after the banning of different rifles from the county, which was of great historical significance. There were still numerous shells scattered around the forest. 

The young cattle thrived in the rich pastures of good soil, sunlight and grass. The farmer had good management of property and transformed the meat farm into a tourist attraction so that the cows could live.

His car washing business was thriving until they were hit by Hurricane Sandy and everyone had to retreat to their abode. 

What are synonyms and antonyms of thrive?

There are many different words in the English language that a person could choose to use in place of the word thrive. These are called, which are words that have the same definition as another given word or phrase. Learning synonyms is a great way to expand your vocabulary and avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms of thrive is provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  abound
  •  go places
  •  flower
  •  increase
  •  mushroom
  •  go great guns
  •  flourishes
  •  blossom
  •  flourish
  •  batten
  •  get ahead
  •  triumph
  •  be vigorous
  •  spring up
  •  advance
  •  prosper
  •  rise
  •  germinate
  •  grow up
  •  burst forth
  •  evolve
  •  improve
  •  bloom
  •  burgeon
  •  progress
  •  grow
  •  succeed
  •  do well
  •  arrive
  •  flourishing
  •  shoot up
  •  turn out well
  •  bloomed
  •  make progress
  •  boom
  •  hit the jackpot
  •  mature
  •  be successful
  •  get on
  •  develop
  •  get somewhere
  •  expand
  •  make good
  •  make headway
  •  bear fruit
  •  make it
  •  booming
  •  fly high
  •  wax
  •  luxuriate

There are also numerous different words that have the opposite meaning of thrive. These are called antonyms, which are another great way to expand your knowledge of the English language. This list of antonyms is also provided by Power Thesaurus.

  •  come a cropper
  •  decrease
  •  miscarry
  •  fall flat
  •  expire
  •  run aground
  •  flounder
  •  putrefy
  •  fizzle out
  •  perish
  •  founder
  •  suffer defeat
  •  blow up in someone’s face
  •  fall through
  •  come to nothing
  •  be failed
  •  lack success
  •  languish
  •  miss the mark
  •  abort
  •  come to naught
  •  be abortive
  •  be in vain
  •  lose
  •  be unsuccessful
  •  bite the dust
  •  lessen
  •  go astray
  •  decay
  •  dissipate
  •  collapse
  •  wither
  •  not succeed
  •  not come up to scratch
  •  meet with disaster
  •  break down
  •  bomb
  •  flatline
  •  deteriorate
  •  come to grief
  •  go down like a lead balloon
  •  decline
  •  misfire
  •  be a failure
  •  backfire
  •  cease
  •  be frustrated
  •  flop
  •  fail
  •  be defeated

Overalls the word thrive (ˈθraɪv) means to prosper or flourish. This word is of Scandinavian origin.


  1. thrive | Origin and meaning of thrive | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  2. Thrive synonyms – 1 073 Words and Phrases for Thrive | Power Thesaurus 
  3. thrive: meaning, origin, translation  | Word Sense 
  4. Thrive antonyms – 426 Opposites of Thrive | Power Thesaurus 
  5. Thrive definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary