Commentary: A general, descriptive term for the motion characteristic of liquids and gases, or an approximation of that motion. Not an actual instance of flowing.
I know she's a good dancer because of the flow of her movements.
The substance began to demonstrate flow as it became warmer.
John could judge the time of day by the ebb and flow of the tide.
I presented my results using a flow chart.
WordNet 2.0 Sense Numbers: 1
Commentary: The rate of flow. The amount of something that flows at a current time.
We measured the flow of heat with a thermometer.
Let's increase the flow of electricity.
The flow of this current is more than our instruments can handle.
WordNet 2.0 Sense Numbers: 2
Commentary: FLOW[+event] Often called "flowing". A specific instance of flow. Flowing that happens at one point in time. Probably the most common sense.
The flow of water began when I flushed the toilet.
The river's flow was very rapid at this point.
He adjusted the fan so that the air flow was directed right at him.
I ended the flow of electricity by flipping the "off" switch.
Mary suspected she was pregnant when she missed her usual menstrual flow.
John interrupted the flow of my reading.
WordNet 2.0 Sense Numbers: 3 7
Commentary: The actual matter that is flowing. Often used metaphorically. Can refer to the entire "stream" as a whole, as all the stuff that is flowing together.
We need a place to put the excess flow of water.
The flow spilled out and knocked me over.
WordNet 2.0 Sense Numbers: 4 5
Commentary: The direction that something is flowing or has flowed. Often used metaphorically, as the dominant course of events or ideas.
If you follow the flow of the river, you'll eventually reach a town.
Historians try to trace the flow of human development.
A good speaker can manipulate the flow of conversation.
WordNet 2.0 Sense Numbers: 6