flout

verb
\ 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

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

The fire was the latest in a country where crowding, flouted building regulations and safety norms have made deadly blazes common. Julhas Alam, The Seattle Times, "Bangladesh police arrest building owners over fatal blaze," 31 Mar. 2019 Many Brazilians were so disgusted with the choices that 40 million people refused to pick any candidate at all, either casting blank votes or abstaining, some flouting the country’s compulsory voting rules. Samantha Pearson And Luciana Magalhaes, WSJ, "Brazil Voters Buck Status Quo With Rise of Right-Wing Firebrand," 8 Oct. 2018 Last year, the regime advertised its ability to export chemical warfare and flout international norms when the regime was accused of using the nerve agent VX to assassinate Kim’s estranged half brother in Kuala Lumpur. Theo Emery, Time, "The North Korea Summit Is Trump's Chance to Pressure Syria About Its Weapons, Too," 4 June 2018 Playing fearless Donna Sheridan this time around is Lily James, who knows a thing or two about women who flout convention for all the right reasons. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "Lily James on the Sex-Positive Message in "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again" and Working With Meryl Streep," 19 July 2018 Supporters of the writer say his detention illustrates how the Communist Party has grown increasingly willing to flout the rights of foreign citizens to advance its interests and silence criticism. Josh Chin, WSJ, "China Says Australian Writer Is Being Held for Threatening State Security," 24 Jan. 2019 Trump, far more than Sessions, likes to flout GOP orthodoxy. Callum Borchers, Washington Post, "Aiming at AT&T and Time Warner, Trump shot from the hip and missed," 12 June 2018 In cities where the scooters have launched, riders continue to flout local helmet rules, ride on sidewalks and disobey traffic laws. Tracey Lien, latimes.com, "Bird's scooters have flooded the streets of major cities. But can the start-up control misbehaving riders?," 23 May 2018 At least 19 agencies in Massachusetts appear to have flouted state law by failing to publish millions of dollars in payroll and spending data on a state transparency website as required by a 2010 law that mandated such public disclosures. Matt Rocheleau, BostonGlobe.com, "Here are the 19 Mass. quasipublic agencies that have failed to report spending records," 2 May 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

15 Apr 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 How to pronounce flout (audio) \
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

Comments on flout

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