[ tout ]
See synonyms for tout on
verb (used without object)
  1. to persistently solicit business, employment, votes, or the like.

  2. Horse Racing. to act as a tout.

verb (used with object)
  1. to persistently solicit support for.

  2. to describe or advertise boastfully; publicize or promote; praise extravagantly: a highly touted nightclub.

  1. Horse Racing.

    • to provide information on (a horse) running in a particular race, especially for a fee.

    • to spy on (a horse in training) in order to gain information for the purpose of betting.

  2. to watch; spy on.

  1. a person who persistently solicits business, employment, support, or the like.

  2. Horse Racing.

    • a person who gives information on a horse, especially for a fee.

    • Chiefly British. a person who spies on a horse in training for the purpose of betting.

  1. British. a ticket scalper.

Origin of tout

First recorded in 1350–1400; from 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. 2023

How to use tout in a sentence

  • I've met some of the missionaries of her particular gospel-shop in India, and a nice lot of touts they are too.

    A Butterfly on the Wheel | Cyril Arthur Edward Ranger Gull
  • But we had no use for hotel touts, and waved our sticks saying, "Hospital."

  • Gin-shops and coffee-houses were the first to open doors, and touts began to bid for tenants for the various rooms upstairs.

  • Noisy touts, each crying up his own special mode and means of conveyance, rushed forth at every turn.

    The Far Horizon | Lucas Malet
  • They calibrated themselves and James with the cold-blooded attitude of racetrack touts clocking their favorite horses.

    The Fourth R | George Oliver Smith

British Dictionary definitions for tout


/ (taʊt) /

  1. to solicit (business, customers, etc) or hawk (merchandise), esp in a brazen way

  2. (intr)

    • to spy on racehorses being trained in order to obtain information for betting purposes

    • to sell, or attempt to sell, such information or to take bets, esp in public places

  1. (tr) informal to recommend flatteringly or excessively

    • a person who spies on racehorses so as to obtain betting information to sell

    • a person who sells information obtained by such spying

  1. a person who solicits business in a brazen way

  1. Also called: ticket tout a person who sells tickets unofficially for a heavily booked sporting event, concert, etc, at greatly inflated prices

  2. Ulster a police informer

Origin of tout

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

Derived forms of tout

  • touter, noun

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