[ flouns ]
/ flaʊns /
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verb (used without object), flounced, flounc·ing.
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.
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Origin of flounce

1535–45; of obscure origin; perhaps akin to Norwegian flunsa to hurry

Other definitions for flounce (2 of 2)

[ 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, flounc·ing.
to trim with flounces.

Origin of flounce

First recorded in 1665–75; alteration of obsolete frounce wrinkle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What else does flounce mean?

The internet slang term flounce means “to leave an online group in a dramatic manner,” and may or may not involve burning a few bridges or stirring the pot on the way out.

Where does flounce come from?

You may be surprised to learn the word flounce long predates the internet. It dates back to the 16th century and means “to go with impatient or impetuous, exaggerated movements,” often said of departures (e.g., flounce out).

Flounce got new life in the late 1990s and early 2000s with the rise of online forums and social media sites. As people started to build online communities on sites like LiveJournal, Myspace, Facebook, and Reddit, they also got fed up with them—and began flouncing them. Evidence for the term can be found on internet Usenet forums by at least 1999.

When someone flounces, they usually make what’s known as a flounce post to announce their departure. This tends to involve a lead-up to the flounce: angry exchanges with a few users, the deletion of some posts, and even kicking out or reporting other group members.

Then comes the flounce post itself, generally featuring an airing of any grievances that compelled them to leave in the first place, finger-pointing, expressions of emotions like disappointment and anger, and a tearful goodbye (e.g., This will be my very last post!). Sometimes the flouncer will call further attention to their flouncing by posting in other groups about the drama or by messaging individual users to make people take sides.

All sound a bit extra? Many people would agree, as flouncing is often lambasted as petty, unnecessary, attention-seeking drama.

How is flounce used in real life?

Flounce can be a verb (e.g., He flounced the subreddit) or a noun (His subreddit flounce was so childish).

It is often used in the context of calling out flouncers. Its users may complain, genuinely or humorously, about those who flounce as if they are the worst humans in existence.

For others, flouncing serves as a form of entertainment. People often like to sit back, relax, and watch the drama unfold.

Some people will own up to their own flouncing behavior. They may complain that they want to flounce due to the annoyingness of a group, or they might admit to being a #dramaqueen.

As flounced has aged, it has sometimes softened in tone, referring to a more temporary and even less dramatic departure from a site—though still because one is extremely irritated by content or users there.

Note that flounce can be used in other contexts, such as a type of dress that’s pleated but flow-y. Flounce can also be used in its original, “floundering” sense, especially in the expression flounce out of the room.

More examples of flounce:

“It’s sad how some people interpret ANY correction as a personal assault, though. I myself have flounced from an Asperger Women’s group on Facebook, because the page owner personally attacked me after I offered her what I thought was a gentle correction on a point she was making about drug treatments for various ASD symptoms. It was not the first time she had made sweeping statements and I just decided I no longer wanted to be associated with that group.”
—Melissa G (commenter), I Speak of Dreams (blog), February 2013


This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.

How to use flounce in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for flounce (1 of 2)

/ (flaʊns) /

(intr; often foll by about, away, out, etc) to move or go with emphatic or impatient movements
the act of flouncing

Word Origin for flounce

C16: of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian flunsa to hurry, Swedish flunsa to splash

British Dictionary definitions for flounce (2 of 2)

/ (flaʊns) /

an ornamental gathered ruffle sewn to a garment by its top edge

Word Origin for flounce

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