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failure to thrive

A medical term used to describe an infant or young child who has experienced delays in physical growth, for a variety of possible reasons. I'm a bit concerned about little Howie's failure to thrive, so I want you to bring him back the office next week for further examination.
See also: failure, thrive

thrive on (something)

1. To flourish or grow luxuriantly by feeding or nourishing on something. The predators introduced to the ecosystem by explorers thrived on the multiple species that had not adapted to their presence. This flower thrives on sunshine, so be sure to have it in direct light as often as you can.
2. To reach one's greatest potential for success when exposed to or involved in something. She has always thrived on intense pressure in her studies, so attending Yale for law school seemed like the natural choice. Despite their willfulness, children actually thrive on rule, structure, and discipline.
See also: on, thrive

thrive (up)on something

to grow vigorously because of something. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) These plants thrive upon wet soil. Children thrive on love.
See also: on, thrive

thrive on

To flourish by or as if by feeding on something: The bears thrived on a rich harvest of berries.
See also: on, thrive
References in periodicals archive ?
Since rock and pop music will not go away, nor people's urge to sing it, shouldn't we as well informed and well equipped singing teachers lend our expertise to help increase the number of thrivers and survivors and to diminish the number of failures?
We also note that all of the companies had achieved some level of success in internationalization, which means this was a sample of survivors and thrivers.
Thrivers will find themselves spending more time removing barriers, adding value, and finding innovative ways to bring products or services to market more efficiently while showing how their expertise saves money.
The Demographics of Wealth: How Age, Educations and Race Separate Thrivers from Strugglers in Today's Economy.
Refaat is a tech enthusiast and gadget collector who represented MEC MENA at the GroupM EMEA conference held in Italy in April; Nejem is one of the agency's top six thrivers thanks to her passion and entrepreneurial drive.
TRI THERE Lily, Clara and Elise asleep in hospital; BACK SEAT THRIVERS Twins settle in their car seats; LA MUM Mirror earlier this week; WAIL OF A TIME Proud mum Julie with left to right, Lily, Clara, Elise Pictures: JOHN FERGUSON; LILY ANGELA 4lbs 13oz; CLARA DAISY 4lbs 8oz; ELISE JESSICA 4lbs 6oz; THE DADDY Michael with girls