verb (used without object)

to parade or display oneself conspicuously, defiantly, or boldly.
to wave conspicuously in the air.

verb (used with object)

to parade or display ostentatiously: to flaunt one's wealth.
to ignore or treat with disdain: He was expelled for flaunting military regulations.


the act of flaunting.
Obsolete. something flaunted.

Origin of flaunt

1560–70; of obscure origin; compare Norwegian dialect flanta to show off
Related formsflaunt·er, nounflaunt·ing·ly, adverbun·flaunt·ed, adjectiveun·flaunt·ing, adjectiveun·flaunt·ing·ly, adverb
Can be confusedflaunt flout (see usage note at the current entry)

Synonyms for flaunt

3. flourish, exhibit, vaunt, show off.

Usage note

4. The use of flaunt to mean “to ignore or treat with disdain” ( He flaunts community standards with his behavior ) is strongly objected to by many usage guides, which insist that only flout can properly express this meaning. From its earliest appearance in English in the 16th century, flaunt has had the meanings “to display oneself conspicuously, defiantly, or boldly” in public and “to parade or display ostentatiously.” These senses approach those of flout, which dates from about the same period: “to treat with disdain, scorn, or contempt; scoff at; mock.” A sentence like Once secure in his new social position, he was able to flaunt his lower-class origins can thus be ambiguous in current English. Considering the similarity in pronunciation of the two words, it is not surprising that flaunt has assumed the meanings of flout and that this use has appeared in the speech and edited writing of even well-educated, literate persons. Nevertheless, many regard the senses of flaunt and flout as entirely unrelated and concerned speakers and writers still continue to keep them separate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flaunted

Contemporary Examples of flaunted

Historical Examples of flaunted

  • Already the red banners of the sunset were flaunted in the high western skies.

    The Coyote

    James Roberts

  • He was faithful to the tie, and flaunted his own magnanimity.

    Despair's Last Journey

    David Christie Murray

  • Would the name of Frederick Graves always be flaunted in his face?

    Tess of the Storm Country

    Grace Miller White

  • But what had he done that they should be flaunted on a scarecrow?

    Major Vigoureux

    A. T. Quiller-Couch

  • Had he not flaunted his aim of one day taking the whole valley?

    The Beginning

    Henry Hasse

British Dictionary definitions for flaunted



to display (possessions, oneself, etc) ostentatiously; show off
to wave or cause to wave freely; flutter


the act of flaunting
Derived Formsflaunter, nounflauntingly, adverb

Word Origin for flaunt

C16: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian dialect flanta to wander about


Flaunt is sometimes wrongly used where flout is meant: they must be prevented from flouting (not flaunting) the law
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

Word Origin and History for flaunted



1560s, "to display oneself in flashy clothes," of unknown origin; perhaps a variant of flout or vaunt. It looks French, but it corresponds to no known French word. Transitive sense is from 1827. Related: Flaunted; flaunting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper