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 formsflout·er, nounflout·ing·ly, adverbun·flout·ed, adjective
Can be confusedflaunt flout (see usage note at flaunt)

Usage note

See flaunt.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flout

Contemporary Examples of flout

Historical Examples of flout

  • Conservative men were alarmed by the evident willingness of some members to flout a solemn decree of that eminent tribunal.

    History of the United States

    Charles A. Beard and Mary R. Beard

  • Mayhap she'll cry a bit, or flout the duke, or laugh at his ways.

    Nancy Stair

    Elinor Macartney Lane

  • And the new critics, who never heard Thalberg, have the impertinence to flout him, to make merry at his fantasias.

    Old Fogy

    James Huneker

  • He is prone to flout his neighbours; but later this will help him to hold his own in merry company.

    The Legend of Ulenspiegel

    Charles de Coster

  • It was as though the man were plotting with a disobedient daughter to flout him as a father.

British Dictionary definitions for flout



(when intr, usually foll by at) to show contempt (for); scoff or jeer (at)
Derived Formsflouter, nounfloutingly, adverb

Word Origin for flout

C16: perhaps from Middle English flouten to play the flute, from Old French flauter compare Dutch fluiten; see flute


See flaunt
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 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