See more synonyms for tout on
verb (used with object)
  1. to solicit support for importunately.
  2. to describe or advertise boastfully; publicize or promote; praise extravagantly: a highly touted nightclub.
  3. Horse Racing.
    1. to provide information on (a horse) running in a particular race, especially for a fee.
    2. to spy on (a horse in training) in order to gain information for the purpose of betting.
  4. to watch; spy on.
  1. a person who solicits business, employment, support, or the like, importunately.
  2. Horse Racing.
    1. a person who gives information on a horse, especially for a fee.
    2. Chiefly British.a person who spies on a horse in training for the purpose of betting.
  3. British. a ticket scalper.

Origin of tout

1350–1400; Middle English tuten to look out, peer; probably akin to Old English tōtian to peep out Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for tout

Contemporary Examples of tout

Historical Examples of tout

  • "And the jock'll have to stand the shot; I know how it goes," asserted the Tout.


    W. A. Fraser

  • The Zouaves then made a dash for the ravine on the Tout Vent front.

  • A tout is guessing all the time, but a hustler is likely to know something.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

  • "'Major,' tout court, if you please," Mr. Colt corrected him.

    Brother Copas

    Sir Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

  • It is the tout ensemble of her presence and her personal charm.

    Princess Zara

    Ross Beeckman

British Dictionary definitions for tout


  1. to solicit (business, customers, etc) or hawk (merchandise), esp in a brazen way
  2. (intr)
    1. to spy on racehorses being trained in order to obtain information for betting purposes
    2. to sell, or attempt to sell, such information or to take bets, esp in public places
  3. (tr) informal to recommend flatteringly or excessively
    1. a person who spies on racehorses so as to obtain betting information to sell
    2. a person who sells information obtained by such spying
  1. a person who solicits business in a brazen way
  2. Also called: ticket tout a person who sells tickets unofficially for a heavily booked sporting event, concert, etc, at greatly inflated prices
  3. Ulster a police informer
Derived Formstouter, noun

Word Origin for tout

C14 (in the sense: to peer, look out): related to Old English tӯtan to peep out
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 tout

1700, thieves' cant, "to act as a lookout, spy on," from Middle English tuten "to peep, peer," probably from a variant of Old English totian "to stick out, peep, peer," from Proto-Germanic *tut- "project" (cf. Dutch tuit "sprout, snout," Middle Dutch tute "nipple, pap," Middle Low German tute "horn, funnel," Old Norse tota "teat, toe of a shoe"). The sense developed to "look out for jobs, votes, etc., to try to get them" (1731), then "praise highly" (1920). Related: Touted; touting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper