flout

verb
\ ˈflau̇t \
flouted; flouting; flouts

Definition of flout

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

: to treat with contemptuous disregard : scorn flouting the rules

intransitive verb

: to indulge in scornful behavior Ah, you may flout and turn up your faces— Robert Browning

flout

noun

Definition of flout (Entry 2 of 2)

: jeer

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Other Words from flout

Verb

flouter noun

Synonyms for flout

Synonyms: Verb

despise, disregard, scorn

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Choose the Right Synonym for flout

Verb

scoff, jeer, gibe, fleer, sneer, flout mean to show one's contempt in derision or mockery. scoff stresses insolence, disrespect, or incredulity as motivating the derision. scoffed at their concerns jeer suggests a coarser more undiscriminating derision. the crowd jeered at the prisoners gibe implies taunting either good-naturedly or in sarcastic derision. hooted and gibed at the umpire fleer suggests grinning or grimacing derisively. the saucy jackanapes fleered at my credulity sneer stresses insulting by contemptuous facial expression, phrasing, or tone of voice. sneered at anything romantic flout stresses contempt shown by refusal to heed. flouted the conventions of polite society

Flaunt vs. Flout: Usage Guide

Verb

Although the "treat contemptuously" sense of flaunt undoubtedly arose from confusion with flout, the contexts in which it appears cannot be called substandard. meting out punishment to the occasional mavericks who operate rigged games, tolerate rowdyism, or otherwise flaunt the law — Oscar Lewis observed with horror the flaunting of their authority in the suburbs, where men … put up buildings that had no place at all in a Christian commonwealth — Marchette Chute in our profession … very rarely do we publicly chastise a colleague who has flaunted our most basic principles — R. T. Blackburn, AAUP Bull. If you use it, however, you should be aware that many people will consider it a mistake. Use of flout in the sense of "flaunt, parade" is found occasionally. "The proper pronunciation," the blonde said, flouting her refined upbringing, "is pree feeks" — Mike Royko

Did You Know?

Verb

Watch out when using "flaunt" and "flout." Critics have been complaining about the confusion of these two words since the early 1900s. Flaunt means "to display ostentatiously," and most usage commentators consider it an error to use "flaunt" with the meaning "to treat with contemptuous disregard" (even though some admit to doing it themselves). Many educated writers have used "flaunt" in the "flout" sense for years, but the notoriety of the controversy is so great, and the belief that it's wrong to use "flaunt" for "flout" is so deep-seated, that we think you would do best to keep the two words distinct.

Examples of flout in a Sentence

Verb

Despite repeated warnings, they have continued to flout the law. an able-bodied motorist openly flouting the law and parking in a space reserved for the disabled

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Image Even though the New York City Housing Authority has been under a microscope for flouting lead-paint safety regulations for years, the exact number of children residing in public housing poisoned by lead was never disclosed. New York Times, "820 Children Under 6 in Public Housing Tested High for Lead," 1 July 2018 For a range of about $30 to $180 a month, some websites viewed by the Journal promise a certain number of positive reviews by offering reviewers cash and discounts as incentives, flouting Amazon’s rules. Laura Stevens, WSJ, "How Sellers Trick Amazon to Boost Sales," 28 July 2018 But Iranians have always found creative ways to bend and even flout the rules, with fashion crazes like Western-style mullets and skintight coats for women. Thomas Erdbrink, New York Times, "As Taboos Break Down, Iranians Party On," 2 June 2018 Qualcomm, meanwhile, said Apple was playing down the preliminary injunction and flouting the legal system. Yoko Kubota, WSJ, "Apple Pushes Out Software Update to Avoid China iPhone Ban," 19 Dec. 2018 Critics and ethicists say the scandal is just the latest example of a prominent researcher flouting disclosure rules and medical journals and organizations weakly enforcing them. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, "Top cancer expert forgot to mention $3.5M industry ties—he just resigned," 14 Sep. 2018 In April, the Trump Administration blocked U.S. firm Qualcomm from selling processor chips to Chinese smartphone maker ZTE, which had flouted sanctions against Iran and North Korea. Charlie Cambell/beijing, Time, "Lei Jun Wants to Be China’s Answer to Steve Jobs. But Trump’s Trade War Is Getting In His Way," 12 July 2018 But wildlife wardens say train conductors often flout speed regulations. National Geographic, "Can Bees Help Save Elephants From Train Strikes?," 20 June 2018 Lankov said that in his visit this week, Kim would be trying to find ways to defuse the sanctions’ pressure without openly flouting them. Jane Perlez, BostonGlobe.com, "Kim returns to China, this time with leverage," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flout.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of flout

Verb

1551, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Noun

1566, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flout

Verb and Noun

probably from Middle English flouten to play the flute, from floute flute

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Statistics for flout

Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flout

The first known use of flout was in 1551

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More Definitions for flout

flout

verb

English Language Learners Definition of flout

: to break or ignore (a law, rule, etc.) without hiding what you are doing or showing fear or shame

flout

verb
\ ˈflau̇t \
flouted; flouting

Kids Definition of flout

: to ignore in an open and disrespectful way The children flouted the rules.

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More from Merriam-Webster on flout

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flout

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flout

Spanish Central: Translation of flout

Nglish: Translation of flout for Spanish Speakers

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