\ ˈflau̇t How to pronounce flout (audio) \
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



Definition of flout (Entry 2 of 2)

: jeer

Other Words from flout


flouter noun

Synonyms for flout

Synonyms: Verb

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Choose the Right Synonym for flout


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


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?

If you flout a rule or societal norm, you ignore it without hiding what you're doing, or showing fear or shame. The similar-sounding word flaunt is sometimes used in the same way, though that word's older and more common meaning is "to display ostentatiously." Critics have been complaining about the confusion of these two words since the early 1900s, but use of flaunt with the meaning "to treat with contemptuous disregard" is found in even polished, edited writing, and so that meaning is included in our and other dictionaries as an established use of the word. Nonetheless, you may want to avoid it: there are still many who judge harshly those who fail to keep these 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 At least some of the content also appears to flout Twitter’s longstanding rules against glorifying suicide and self-harm despite warnings about from activists several months ago that those tweets were growing on the site, the report said. Naomi Nix, Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2022 Still, Connecticut merchants of all kinds largely comply with sales tax remittance laws, Phelan said, adding that out-of-state sellers who flout those rules continue to hold an unfair advantage. Keith M. Phaneuf, Hartford Courant, 15 July 2022 That led a handful of Republican lawmakers to purposely flout the House mask rules, resulting in them getting slapped with a mix of fines and warnings for their defiance. Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN, 11 June 2021 This process of judicial review -- embedded within our constitutional structure for centuries -- ensures that state legislatures do not flout core constitutional protections. Joshua A. Douglas, CNN, 7 July 2022 On the other hand, Evans’ Lloyd Hansen is a contract killer with an appetite for torture who relishes any opportunity to flout the rules. Peter Debruge, Variety, 14 July 2022 Leaders in China's capital are punishing workplaces that flout COVID regulations, with more districts implementing work-from-home rules. Julia Musto, Fox News, 26 May 2022 Too many passengers continue to flout a federal order requiring masks be worn onboard transit vehicles. Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2022 Those sentiments, combined with provocative statements new lawmakers had been making about wanting to flout District of Columbia gun laws, prompted the detectors to be set up. Paul Kane, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of flout


1551, in the meaning defined at transitive sense


1566, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flout


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


derivative of flout entry 1

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Dictionary Entries Near flout

floury miller



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Last Updated

16 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flout. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for flout


\ ˈflau̇t How to pronounce flout (audio) \
flouted; flouting

Kids Definition of flout

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

More from Merriam-Webster on flout

Nglish: Translation of flout for Spanish Speakers


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