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[flout] /flaʊt/
verb (used with object)
to treat with disdain, scorn, or contempt; scoff at; mock:
to flout the rules of propriety.
verb (used without object)
to show disdain, scorn, or contempt; scoff, mock, or gibe (often followed by at).
a disdainful, scornful, or contemptuous remark or act; insult; gibe.
Origin of flout
1350-1400; Middle English flouten to play the flute; compare Dutch fluiten to play the flute, jeer
Related forms
flouter, noun
floutingly, adverb
unflouted, adjective
Can be confused
flaunt, flout (see usage note at flaunt)
Usage note
See flaunt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for flout
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Beneath the car of this Juggernaut we must flout our judgments and crush our affections.

  • I know not what the world is coming to, when young maids may flout their elders.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Niagara, however, might flout them if it pleased; they could do without Niagara.

    Marriage la mode Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Bessie did not pout or flout when neither Levi nor her father appeared to receive her.

    Freaks of Fortune Oliver Optic
  • The Gentiles, who are neither proud nor intellectual, spit upon him and flout him.

    William Shakespeare John Masefield
  • He was not free simply to flout 278 the legacy and toss it angrily aside.

    The Wall Between

    Sara Ware Bassett
  • We flout the businessman, but without him there would be no poets.

British Dictionary definitions for flout


when intr, usually foll by at. to show contempt (for); scoff or jeer (at)
Derived Forms
flouter, noun
floutingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from Middle English flouten to play the flute, from Old French flauter compare Dutch fluiten; see flute
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 flout

1550s, perhaps a special use of Middle English flowten "to play the flute" (cf. Middle Dutch fluyten "to play the flute," also "to jeer"). Related: Flouted; flouting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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