Denotation vs. Connotation


[flawnt] /flɔnt/
verb (used without object)
to parade or display oneself conspicuously, defiantly, or boldly.
to wave conspicuously in the air.
verb (used with object)
to parade or display ostentatiously:
to flaunt one's wealth.
to ignore or treat with disdain:
He was expelled for flaunting military regulations.
the act of flaunting.
Obsolete. something flaunted.
Origin of flaunt
Norwegian dialect
1560-70; of obscure origin; compare Norwegian dialect flanta to show off
Related forms
flaunter, noun
flauntingly, adverb
unflaunted, adjective
unflaunting, adjective
unflauntingly, adverb
Can be confused
flaunt, flout (see usage note at the current entry)
3. flourish, exhibit, vaunt, show off.
Usage note
4. The use of flaunt to mean “to ignore or treat with disdain” (He flaunts community standards with his behavior) is strongly objected to by many usage guides, which insist that only flout can properly express this meaning. From its earliest appearance in English in the 16th century, flaunt has had the meanings “to display oneself conspicuously, defiantly, or boldly” in public and “to parade or display ostentatiously.” These senses approach those of flout, which dates from about the same period: “to treat with disdain, scorn, or contempt; scoff at; mock.” A sentence like Once secure in his new social position, he was able to flaunt his lower-class origins can thus be ambiguous in current English. Considering the similarity in pronunciation of the two words, it is not surprising that flaunt has assumed the meanings of flout and that this use has appeared in the speech and edited writing of even well-educated, literate persons. Nevertheless, many regard the senses of flaunt and flout as entirely unrelated and concerned speakers and writers still continue to keep them separate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for flaunted
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They rushed towards the animal and flaunted their flags before his eyes, striving to excite and draw him on to attack them.

  • Would the name of Frederick Graves always be flaunted in his face?

    Tess of the Storm Country Grace Miller White
  • No United States fort at the time of his fall flaunted treason in the eyes of the land.

  • But what had he done that they should be flaunted on a scarecrow?

    Major Vigoureux A. T. Quiller-Couch
  • She hopped out of the car with her bag and flaunted her cheap finery through the gate and in at the front door.

    Sheila of Big Wreck Cove James A. Cooper
British Dictionary definitions for flaunted


to display (possessions, oneself, etc) ostentatiously; show off
to wave or cause to wave freely; flutter
the act of flaunting
Derived Forms
flaunter, noun
flauntingly, adverb
Usage note
Flaunt is sometimes wrongly used where flout is meant: they must be prevented from flouting (not flaunting) the law
Word Origin
C16: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; compare Norwegian dialect flanta to wander about
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
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Word Origin and History for flaunted



1560s, "to display oneself in flashy clothes," of unknown origin; perhaps a variant of flout or vaunt. It looks French, but it corresponds to no known French word. Transitive sense is from 1827. Related: Flaunted; flaunting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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