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[flout] /flaʊt/
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 forms
flouter, noun
floutingly, adverb
unflouted, adjective
Can be confused
flaunt, flout (see usage note at flaunt)
Usage note
See flaunt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for flout
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In practice it might be necessary to flout them, to tease them, even to snub them––on rare occasions.

  • Beneath the car of this Juggernaut we must flout our judgments and crush our affections.

  • I love not the Christians, nor any who flout the gods and their worship—that thou knowest well.

    Aurelian William Ware
  • I know not what the world is coming to, when young maids may flout their elders.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Yet these same restrictions are what the novice most resents, or at any rate is inclined to flout.

    The Lure of the Pen Flora Klickmann
  • Niagara, however, might flout them if it pleased; they could do without Niagara.

    Marriage la mode Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • They voted for the bill of July last, and that was a bill passed expressly to save the Union; but did they not flout at it?

British Dictionary definitions for flout


when intr, usually foll by at. to show contempt (for); scoff or jeer (at)
Derived Forms
flouter, noun
floutingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: perhaps from Middle English flouten to play the flute, from Old French flauter compare Dutch fluiten; see flute
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 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
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