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Perhaps from Middle English flouten, to play the flute; compare with Dutch fluiten.


flout (third-person singular simple present flouts, present participle flouting, simple past and past participle flouted)

  1. To express contempt for the rules by word or action.
    • 2012, The Economist, Sep 29th 2012 issue, Tax alchemy: Tech's avoidance
      The manoeuvres of Microsoft and HP appear to comply with the letter of the regulations, even if they flout their spirit.
  2. To scorn.
    • Walton
      Phillida flouts me.
    • Byron
      Three gaudy standards flout the pale blue sky.

Usage notes[edit]


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flout (plural flouts)

  1. The act by which something is flouted.
    • 2012, John Flowerdew, Discourse in English Language Education (page 97)
      A flout is when someone deliberately and ostentatiously contravenes a maxim.