Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To put forth new buds, leaves, or greenery; sprout.
  • intransitive v. To begin to grow or blossom.
  • intransitive v. To grow or develop rapidly.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. bud, sprout, shoot
  • v. To grow or expand.
  • v. To swell to the point of bursting.
  • v. Of plants, to bloom, bud.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To bud. See bourgeon.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bud; sprout; put forth new buds; shoot forth, as a branch.
  • n. A bud; a sprout.
  • n. A boss used for the cover of a book, to prevent injury to the binding. Often written burgen.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. grow and flourish

Etymologies

Middle English burgeonen, from Old French borjoner, from burjon, a bud, from Vulgar Latin *burriō, burriōn-, from Late Latin burra, a shaggy garment.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English burjon, burioun "shoot, bud" from Anglo-Norman burjun, burgeon, burgon (compare Old French burjon "a bud"), from Frankish *burjo (“sprout, offshoot, descendant”), from Proto-Germanic *burjô (“sprout, descendant, offshoot”), from Proto-Germanic *beranan (“to carry, bear”), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰer-, *bʰrē- (“to bear”). Akin to Old High German burjan ("to push up, raise"), Old English byrian ("to come up, occur"), Old English byre ("child, son, descendant"). More at bear. (Wiktionary)
From Middle English, from Old French borjoner, burjoner ("to bud, to sprout"), from burjon ("a bud"), of uncertain origin, perhaps from Germanic. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • Talk like that is the rain that should make buried love for one's country burgeon.

    Ngugi wa Thiong'o, Devil on the Cross

    December 14, 2011

  • Dictionary.com, The market for collectibles has burgeoned in recent years.

    November 5, 2010