Flair or Flare?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Flair" and "Flare"?

"Flair" and "flare" are easy to confuse because they sound identical (i.e., they are perfect homonyms).
  • Flair. "Flair" means natural ability. For example:
    • He has a natural flair for languages.
  • Flare. "Flare" means a device for creating light (like a firework), a brief burst of light, or a gradual widening at one end. For example:
    • Send up a flare to mark our position, sergeant.
    • The sudden flare ruined my night vision.
    • His trousers have a remarkable flare.
    flair or flare?


    The abstract noun "flair" means to have a natural talent or a knack for something. It also means to do something with a distinct elegance.

    Example sentences with "flair":
    • Their ideas might now need some of your creative flair. correct tick
    • Starting out to make money is the greatest mistake in life. Do what you feel you have a flair for doing, and if you are good enough at it, the money will come. correct tick (Actress Greer Garson)


    The noun "flare" denotes a brief burst of bright flame or light. It is also the name for a firework-style rocket used for illumination. "Flare" can also mean a gradual expanding in shape.

    Example sentences with "flare":
    • Flares are used for signalling, illumination, or defensive countermeasures in civilian and military applications. correct tick
    • People wearing flared jeans today want to style these 1970s inspired jeans in ways that are definitely 21st century. correct tick
    "Flare" can also be used as a verb meaning to burst into flame or to gradually become wider at one end. For example:
    • His last match flared lighting our faces. correct tick
    • Her dress does not flare at the bottom. correct tick

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    See Also

    adverse or averse? affect or effect? Ms., Miss, or Mrs? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? List of easily confused words

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