flout


flout
flaunt, flout
The two words are unrelated. To flaunt means ‘to display ostentatiously’:

• Women should have it both ways —they should be able to flaunt their sexuality and be taken seriously —E. Wurtzel, 1998.

To flout means ‘to show contempt for (a rule, the law, etc.)’:

• Countries engage in covert activities because they do not want to flout the rules openly —Encounter, 1987.

The confusion, apart from the similarities of sound, may be due to the notion of conspicuousness common to both actions, and it is noteworthy that flaunt is used mistakenly to mean flout but the reverse does not occur:

• ☒ By flaunting these rules, Hongkong and Shanghai have challenged the Bank's authority —Daily Telegraph, 1981

• ☒ The fact that a shop so close to the scene of the tragic crash is still flaunting licensing laws will no doubt cause more outrage —Hastings Observer, 2007.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • flout´er — flout «flowt», verb, noun. –v.t. to treat with contempt or scorn; mock; scoff at: »The foolish boy flouted his mother s advice. SYNONYM(S): taunt. –v.i. to show contempt or scorn; mock; scoff: »Ah, you may flout and turn up your faces (Robert… …   Useful english dictionary

  • flout — [flaut] v [T] [Date: 1500 1600; Origin: Probably from flout to play the flute (14 16 centuries)] to deliberately disobey a law, rule etc, without trying to hide what you are doing ▪ Some companies flout the rules and employ children as young as… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Flout — Flout, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Flouted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Flouting}.] [OD. fluyten to play the flute, to jeer, D. fluiten, fr. fluit, fr. French. See {Flute}.] To mock or insult; to treat with contempt. [1913 Webster] Phillida flouts me. Walton.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flout — Flout, v. i. To practice mocking; to behave with contempt; to sneer; to fleer; often with at. [1913 Webster] Fleer and gibe, and laugh and flout. Swift. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flout — Flout, n. A mock; an insult. [1913 Webster] Who put your beauty to this flout and scorn. Tennyson. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • flout — flout·er; flout·ing·ly; flout; …   English syllables

  • flout — [ flaut ] verb transitive to deliberately refuse to obey a rule or custom: Skateboarders know they will be prosecuted if they flout the law …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • flout — ► VERB 1) openly disregard (a rule, law, or convention). 2) archaic mock; scoff. USAGE On the confusion of flout and flaunt, see the note at FLAUNT(Cf. ↑flaunt). ORIGIN perhaps from Dutch fluiten whistle, play the flut …   English terms dictionary

  • flout — [flout] vt. [prob. special use of ME flouten, to play the flute, hence, whistle (at)] 1. to mock or scoff at; show scorn or contempt for 2. to openly disregard, as by rejecting, defying, or ignoring vi. to be scornful; show contempt; jeer; scoff… …   English World dictionary

  • flout — I verb affront, be contemptuous of, be disrespectful, be scornful, care nothing for, cavillari, contemn, defy, deride, despise, disdain, disregard, esteem slightly, feel contempt for, fleer, gibe, hold in contempt, hold in derision, hold in… …   Law dictionary

  • flout — 1550s, perhaps a special use of M.E. flowten to play the flute (Cf. M.Du. fluyten to play the flute, also to jeer ). Related: Flouted; flouting …   Etymology dictionary