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

State prosecutors depicted Hershberger as someone who flouted the law by not getting a $265 retail license — although having unpasteurized milk in his store would have made that impossible, according to the state agriculture department. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Margarine smugglers, a deadly milk war and more flavor Wisconsin's dairy history," 28 Aug. 2019 Officials are yet to decide on penalties for those who flout the ban. Sugam Pokharel And Julia Hollingsworth, CNN, "Nepal is banning single-use plastic in the Everest region," 22 Aug. 2019 Without a doubt, her appropriative behavior, her decision to disguise her race and to flout a travel ban that was made in response to colonizers, can’t be justified. Ailsa Ross, Longreads, "Mountains, Transcending," 9 Aug. 2019 Currently, the administration is attempting to flout immigration law by denying asylum eligibility to all individuals who pass through another country on their way to the U.S.-Mexico border. Gilbert Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "Obscure immigration law becomes central issue for Castro," 2 Aug. 2019 The debate centers on how the party competes with a sitting president who so openly flouts the norms of political conduct and ethics and whether Democrats should consider doing the same. David Nakamura, Anchorage Daily News, "‘There’s no accountability’: Trump and White House aides signal willingness to act with impunity in drive for re-election," 17 June 2019 But then there's the Elekto Dumper—the world's largest EV—which flouts the rule that EVs can't handle serious work. Courtney Linder, Popular Mechanics, "The World's Largest Electric Vehicle Is a Dump Truck," 21 Aug. 2019 Photographed by Ben Baker for Fortune The rejection of the system was manifest in the 2016 Brexit vote, when the British masses flouted the collective wisdom of corporate and political leaders. Fortune, "America’s CEOs Seek a New Purpose for the Corporation," 19 Aug. 2019 The commission plans to forward the findings of its investigation to Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry's office after Paul flouted its directive to register as a lobbyist in connection with his work for the state's troubled veterans agency. Tony Cook, Indianapolis Star, "Former lawmaker catches heat for secretive deal with Indiana veterans agency," 7 Aug. 2019

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

30 Sep 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

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