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

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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 But abuses persist as brokers and employers flout the rules. Washington Post, "Chinese workers allege forced labor, abuses in Xi’s ‘Belt and Road’ program," 30 Apr. 2021 Small businesses in India have taken the lead to fight the deadly second wave of Covid-19, even as the country’s political leadership continued to brazenly flout all protocols. Niharika Sharma, Quartz, "India’s Covid-19 crisis is so dire that small businesses are self-imposing lockdowns," 19 Apr. 2021 Somehow Royal De Versailes has been able to flout this with a combination of excellent store location and understanding of the watch enthusiast market beyond any of its Canadian competitors, as well as perhaps a little bit of sheer luck. Matthew Catellier, Forbes, "Royal De Versailles: the Tourneau Of the North," 5 Apr. 2021 The weekend Curfew Breaker parties were meant to encourage businesses to flout closures. Los Angeles Times, "Suburban radicals: Inside the resurgence of right-wing extremism in Orange County," 21 Mar. 2021 McCarthy’s son’s wedding in San Luis Obispo County appeared to flout longstanding state COVID-19 rules that prohibit wedding receptions and require that mask-wearing at wedding ceremonies. San Francisco Chronicle, "Coronavirus updates from the Bay Area: Feb. 11-17, 2021," 25 Feb. 2021 Birx was just the latest public official who appeared to flout their own guidelines. Sam Dorman, Fox News, "Dr. Birx defends herself over post-Thanksgiving trip during pandemic pushback," 22 Dec. 2020 Issued last week, the student supreme court's majority opinion said that SFLA's national leadership indicated it a UNI chapter would flout the university's values. Sam Dorman, Fox News, "Anti-abortion group fighting back after university senators say their opinions are 'hateful,' not 'equal'," 20 Oct. 2020 Particularly in Anglo-Saxon countries, too many unscrupulous employers flout labour law. The Economist, "How to think about work Pessimism about the labour market is overdone," 1 Apr. 2021

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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Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flout.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flout. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on flout

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Nglish: Translation of flout for Spanish Speakers

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