flounce

1 of 4

verb (1)

flounced; flouncing

intransitive verb

1
a
: to move with exaggerated jerky or bouncy motions
flounced about the room, jerking her shoulders, gesticulatingAgatha Christie
also : to move so as to draw attention to oneself
flounced into the lobby
b
: to go with sudden determination
flounced out in a huff
2

flounce

2 of 4

noun (1)

: an act or instance of flouncing
moved with a flounce

flounce

3 of 4

noun (2)

: a strip of fabric attached by one edge
also : a wide ruffle

flounce

4 of 4

verb (2)

flounced; flouncing

transitive verb

: to trim with flounces

Did you know?

The story behind flounce is an elusive one. The verb's earliest recorded uses in English occurred in the mid-1500s, and some scholars believe it is related to the Norwegian verb flunsa (meaning "to hurry" or "to work briskly") and Swedish flunsa ("to fall with a splash" or "to plunge"). The connection is uncertain, however, because the flunsa verbs did not appear in their respective languages until the 18th century, long after flounce surfaced in English. A second distinct sense of flounce, referring to a strip or ruffle of fabric attached on one edge, did not appear in English until the 18th century. This flounce derives from the Middle English frouncen, meaning "to curl."

Examples of flounce in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Watch them stalk and flounce to the beats, connecting hip-to-hip before hitting a stylish freeze. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 12 Feb. 2024 There's a Greek island, muscular extras flouncing around in flippers, and Meryl Streep getting frisky with a power drill. Declan Gallagher, EW.com, 18 July 2023 This little number is all about the flare, with its A-line design and flounce long sleeves. Poppy Morgan, Rolling Stone, 21 Nov. 2023 The Arizona senator, who’s best described as a dull person’s idea of an interesting person, famously flounced from the Democratic Party last December. Jason Linkins, The New Republic, 4 Nov. 2023 After stranding runners in scoring position in each of his first three innings, Miller flexed, fist-pumped and flounced his way off the rubber. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 8 Oct. 2023 After sending Michelle Pfeiffer flouncing off to Paris in French Exit, filmmaker Azazel Jacobs makes a satisfying New York homecoming with His Three Daughters, a sharp, tender tale of sisterhood under duress. Jon Frosch, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Sep. 2023 The Citadel star was wearing a green, grey, and black dress in a water color print with an asymmetrical cut and flounced sleeves, with one sculptural piece crossing her body to the waist. Aimée Lutkin, ELLE, 15 July 2023 At least that’s the spirit in which Momoa approaches this monumentally silly endeavor: His Dante is a funny, flouncing maniac, given to progressively weirder wardrobe choices and TikTok-ready hairstyles. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, 17 May 2023
Noun
Hunter Schafer in Prada Without a doubt, presenter Hunter Schafer won the night’s award for the gown with the most beautiful movement in this flowing sleeveless column dress with layered flounces in shimmering pink silk gazar and technical voile by Prada. Laurie Brookins, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 The asymmetrical flounce skirt is adorned with cascading ruffles for a whimsical silhouette. Minna Shim, Harper's BAZAAR, 26 July 2023 To create a flounce, copy Symington’s trick of having a seamstress sew the pocket a few inches from the top, leaving a flap of fabric to hang down. Laura Fenton, Washington Post, 13 June 2023 The Florie Dress is so precious and features puff sleeves and a drop-waist flounce. harpersbazaar.com, 9 May 2023 Not to mention, the shape perfectly mirrors the star's orange organza gown, with its ruffled fishtail and pleated flounces on the bustier. Fiona Embleton, Glamour, 19 Feb. 2023 Nearby, in 17th and 18th century England, conchylomania crystallized into greedier, more flamboyant forms, preempting the all-over crafty flounce of Victorian shell souvenirs. Laura Bannister, Vogue, 21 Mar. 2022 The flounce sleeves and seaming detail give this effortless look an elegant feel. NBC News, 22 June 2020 At Kreutzer’s urging, costume designers avoided the fuss and flounce of the eighteen-seventies in favor of sleeker styles, but the corsets stayed. Fergus McIntosh, The New Yorker, 9 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flounce.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb (1)

perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Norwegian flunsa to hurry

Verb (2)

alteration of earlier frounce, from Middle English frouncen to curl

First Known Use

Verb (1)

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (1)

1583, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1713, in the meaning defined above

Verb (2)

1711, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of flounce was in 1542

Podcast

Dictionary Entries Near flounce

Cite this Entry

“Flounce.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flounce. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

flounce

1 of 4 verb
flounced; flouncing
1
: to move with exaggerated jerky motions
2
: to go with sudden determination
flounced out of the room in anger

flounce

2 of 4 noun
: an act or instance of flouncing

flounce

3 of 4 verb
flounced; flouncing
: to trim with flounces

flounce

4 of 4 noun
: a strip of fabric attached by the upper edge
Etymology

Verb

perhaps of Scandinavian origin

Verb

an altered form of earlier frounce "to trim with ruffles," from Middle English frouncen "to curl"

More from Merriam-Webster on flounce

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!