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

  • 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

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