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Extravagant vs. Flamboyant — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Updated on April 16, 2024
Extravagant implies excessive spending or luxury, while flamboyant describes strikingly bold or showy behavior or style.
Extravagant vs. Flamboyant — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Extravagant and Flamboyant


Key Differences

Extravagant often refers to lavish expenditure or an over-the-top lifestyle in terms of spending, whereas flamboyant emphasizes an ostentatious display that attracts attention through vivid expressions or flamboyant outfits. Both terms involve excess, but their contexts differ significantly.
In fashion, extravagant styles involve luxurious fabrics and costly details, indicating opulence and wealth, on the other hand, flamboyant fashion includes vivid colors and dramatic designs that make a bold statement about the wearer's personality.
When discussing personality, someone described as extravagant might spend money or resources freely and excessively, while a flamboyant person is noted for their exuberance, energy, and a flair for dramatic behavior.
In terms of public perception, extravagant actions or purchases can sometimes attract criticism or suggest impracticality due to their lavish nature, whereas flamboyant behaviors or styles are often seen as a sign of confidence and uniqueness, generally celebrated for their creative expression.
Art and architecture that are termed extravagant typically showcase expensive materials and intricate details, signaling a no-expense-spared approach, whereas flamboyant art or architecture stands out due to its elaborate ornamental elements and complex designs, emphasizing aesthetics over cost.

Comparison Chart


Exceeding the bounds of reason or moderation
Strikingly bold or brilliant; showy

Usage in spending

Involves excessive and unnecessary expenditure
Not necessarily linked to spending

Associated behaviors

Often linked to luxury and opulence
Associated with vivacity and energy


May be viewed as wasteful
Often viewed as expressive

Style elements

Luxurious, high-cost materials
Vivid, attention-grabbing details

Compare with Definitions


Going beyond the limits of reason or necessity in spending.
She lived an extravagant lifestyle, complete with a private jet and multiple mansions.


Marked by or given to strikingly elaborate or colorful display or behavior.
His flamboyant attire made him the center of attention at the gala.


Excessively elaborate or complex.
The wedding featured extravagant decorations, including thousands of imported roses.


Richly and brilliantly colorful.
She painted flamboyant canvases that were vibrant and engaging.


Characterized by lavish or luxurious features.
Their extravagant dining room was adorned with gold leaf and crystal chandeliers.


Ostentatiously attracting attention.
Her flamboyant performance was talked about long after the event ended.


Immoderately high in cost or price; expensive.
He wore an extravagant watch encrusted with diamonds.


Elaborate, often excessive in detail.
The flamboyant architecture of the building included intricate carvings and elaborate statues.


Unrestrained in conduct, feelings, or mannerisms.
Her extravagant gestures during the presentation captured everyone's attention.


Exuberant or flamboyant in personality or style.
His flamboyant manner of speaking kept his audience entertained and engaged.


Lacking restraint in spending money or using resources
It was rather extravagant to buy both


Flamboyant (from French: flamboyant, lit. 'flaming') is a form of late Gothic architecture that developed in Europe in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance, from around 1375 to the mid-16th century. It is characterized by double curves forming flame-like shapes in the bar-tracery, which give the style its name; by the multiplication of ornamental ribs in the vaults; and by the use of use of the arch in accolade.


Exceeding reasonable bounds
Extravagant demands.


Given to or marked by elaborate, ostentatious, or audacious display or behavior.


Unreasonably high in cost; exorbitant
Extravagant fees.


Richly or brightly colored; resplendent
A flamboyant turban.


Lavish or imprudent in spending money
Extravagant members of the imperial court.


Of, relating to, or having wavy lines and flamelike forms characteristic of 15th- and 16th-century French Gothic architecture.


Extremely abundant; profuse
Extravagant vegetation.


See royal poinciana.


(Archaic) Straying beyond limits or bounds; wandering.


Showy, bold or audacious in behaviour, appearance, etc.


Exceeding the bounds of something; roving; hence, foreign.


(architecture) Referring to the final stage of French Gothic architecture from the 14th to the 16th centuries.


Extreme; wild; excessive; unrestrained.
Extravagant acts, praise, or abuse


Of a blade: forged in a wavy, undulating pattern, like a flame-bladed sword or a kris.




The royal poinciana (Delonix regia), a showy tropical tree.


Profuse in expenditure; prodigal; wasteful.
An extravagant man
Extravagant expense


Characterized by waving or flamelike curves, as in the tracery of windows, etc.; - said of the later (15th century) French Gothic style.


Wandering beyond one's bounds; roving; hence, foreign.
The extravagant and erring spirit hiesTo his confine.


Showy tropical tree or shrub native to Madagascar; widely planted in tropical regions for its immense racemes of scarlet and orange flowers; sometimes placed in genus Poinciana


Exceeding due bounds; wild; excessive; unrestrained; as, extravagant acts, wishes, praise, abuse.
There appears something nobly wild and extravagant in great natural geniuses.


Elaborately or excessively ornamented;
Flamboyant handwriting
The senator's florid speech


Profuse in expenditure; prodigal; wasteful; as, an extravagant man.


Richly and brilliantly colorful


One who is confined to no general rule.


Certain constitutions or decretal epistles, not at first included with others, but subsequently made a part of the canon law.


Unrestrained in especially feelings;
Extravagant praise
Exuberant compliments
Overweening ambition
Overweening greed


Recklessly wasteful;
Prodigal in their expenditures

Common Curiosities

What makes an action extravagant?

Extravagant actions typically involve spending more money or resources than necessary, often to an excessive degree.

How do extravagant and flamboyant styles differ in fashion?

Extravagant fashion focuses on luxury and high cost, whereas flamboyant fashion emphasizes bold and dramatic designs.

What type of events might call for flamboyant decorations?

Events like themed parties or creative gatherings often feature flamboyant decorations to enhance the atmosphere and provide visual excitement.

What is a common misconception about extravagant people?

A common misconception is that extravagant people are always wealthy; they may simply prioritize spending on luxury.

Is being extravagant always negative?

Not necessarily; it can signify generosity or a celebration of special occasions, though it's often criticized when deemed excessive.

What is an example of extravagant behavior in historical figures?

Monarchs like Louis XIV of France exhibited extravagant behaviors with their palaces and lifestyles.

How do extravagant and flamboyant differ in their use in literature?

In literature, extravagant descriptions might focus on lavish settings or opulent scenes, while flamboyant descriptions emphasize vivid, striking imagery.

Can businesses be flamboyant in their marketing?

Yes, businesses often use flamboyant marketing techniques to attract attention and distinguish themselves from competitors.

How can a person's speech be flamboyant?

Speech can be flamboyant if it's particularly expressive, vivid, or delivered in an animated manner.

Are extravagant holidays popular?

Yes, extravagant holidays in exotic locations or with luxury accommodations are popular among those who can afford them.

Can flamboyant be considered a positive trait?

Yes, being flamboyant is often seen as positive when it reflects individuality and creativity.

Is it possible to be both extravagant and flamboyant?

Yes, one can be both extravagant and flamboyant, often seen in individuals who not only spend lavishly but also live and act in a vivid, showy manner.

How does society typically view flamboyant individuals?

Society often views flamboyant individuals as charismatic and interesting, though they can also be seen as attention-seeking.

What impact does flamboyant style have in the arts?

Flamboyant style in the arts can lead to innovative and memorable works that push the boundaries of traditional aesthetics.

What role do extravagant and flamboyant play in cultural expressions?

Both play significant roles in cultural expressions, with extravagant elements highlighting luxury and flamboyant aspects bringing color and vivacity to cultural festivities.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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