[tout] Informal.
verb (used without object)
to solicit business, employment, votes, or the like, importunately.
Horse Racing. to act as a tout.
verb (used with object)
to solicit support for importunately.
to describe or advertise boastfully; publicize or promote; praise extravagantly: a highly touted nightclub.
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.
to watch; spy on.
a person who solicits business, employment, support, or the like, importunately.
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.
British. a ticket scalper.

1350–1400; Middle English tuten to look out, peer; probably akin to Old English tōtian to peep out Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tout (taʊt)
1.  to solicit (business, customers, etc) or hawk (merchandise), esp in a brazen way
2.  (intr)
 a.  to spy on racehorses being trained in order to obtain information for betting purposes
 b.  to sell, or attempt to sell, such information or to take bets, esp in public places
3.  informal (tr) to recommend flatteringly or excessively
4.  a.  a person who spies on racehorses so as to obtain betting information to sell
 b.  a person who sells information obtained by such spying
5.  a person who solicits business in a brazen way
6.  Also called: ticket tout a person who sells tickets unofficially for a heavily booked sporting event, concert, etc, at greatly inflated prices
7.  (Ulster) a police informer
[C14 (in the sense: to peer, look out): related to Old English tӯtan to peep out]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1700, thieves' cant, "to act as a lookout, spy on," from M.E. tuten "to peep, peer," probably from a variant of O.E. totian "to stick out, peep, peer," from P.Gmc. *tut- "project" (cf. Du. tuit "sprout, snout," M.Du. tute "nipple, pap," M.L.G. tute "horn, funnel," O.N. 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).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Avoid the unctuous touts who swarm hotel lobbies and tourist sites.
The sites themselves are neatly maintained, but the experience is vitiated by
  touts and illegal guides.
Unsolicited e-mail that touts penny stocks is on the rise and getting results.
But the government touts the project as a triumph of its trade policy.
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