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[flouns] /flaʊns/
verb (used without object), flounced, flouncing.
to go with impatient or impetuous, exaggerated movements:
The star flounced out of the studio in a rage.
to throw the body about spasmodically; flounder.
an act or instance of flouncing; a flouncing movement.
Origin of flounce1
1535-45; of obscure origin; perhaps akin to Norwegian flunsa to hurry
1. storm, bound, prance, bounce.


[flouns] /flaʊns/
a strip of material gathered or pleated and attached at one edge, with the other edge left loose or hanging: used for trimming, as on the edge of a skirt or sleeve or on a curtain, slipcover, etc.
verb (used with object), flounced, flouncing.
to trim with flounces.
1665-75; alteration of obsolete frounce wrinkle Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for flounce
Historical Examples
  • To buy a yard of a flounce or a pair of broad ruffles was a serious matter for the purchaser unless he was wealthy.

    Lace, Its Origin and History Samuel L. Goldenberg
  • It was just sticking by its pin in the flounce of my brown silk, that I wore yesterday.

    A House to Let Charles Dickens
  • I went an hour earlier than you asked me, to beg that the dress might be cut perfectly plain, without upper skirt or flounce.

  • She had finished her flounce, and she rose and gave Anne the needle.

    Mistress Anne Temple Bailey
  • It is trimmed with mousseline de soie, and the flounce would hide the line.

    The Dull Miss Archinard Anne Douglas Sedgwick
  • Mrs. Judson took occasion to flounce by me in her work of clearing the table.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • The divan probably would not be used; beneath it, screened by the flounce, he might lie and hear all that was said.

    Barclay of the Guides Herbert Strang
  • A lady had the flounce of her dress torn off; a man lost his hat.

  • Mr. Cripps got out of it with something like a bound, and Mrs. Grimes was gone with a flounce and a slam of the door.

    The Hole in the Wall Arthur Morrison
  • No one could detect a flaw in her character, or a fold awry in her flounce.

    Kenelm Chillingly, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
British Dictionary definitions for flounce


(intransitive; often foll by about, away, out, etc) to move or go with emphatic or impatient movements
the act of flouncing
Word Origin
C16: of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian flunsa to hurry, Swedish flunsa to splash


an ornamental gathered ruffle sewn to a garment by its top edge
Word Origin
C18: from Old French fronce wrinkle, from froncir to wrinkle, of Germanic origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for flounce

1540s, "to dash, plunge, flop," perhaps from Scandinavian (cf. dialectal Swedish flunsa "to plunge," Norwegian flunsa "to hurry," but first record of these is 200 years later than the English word), said to be of imitative origin. Spelling likely influenced by bounce. Notions of "anger, impatience" began to adhere to the word 18c. Related: Flounced; flouncing. As a noun, from 1580s as a motion.


"wide ruffle," 1713, from Middle English frounce "pleat, wrinkle, fold" (late 14c.), from Old French fronce "line, wrinkle; pucker, crease, fold," from Frankish *hrunkjan "to wrinkle," from Proto-Germanic *hrunk-. Influenced in form by flounce (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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