Definition of flout in English:



  • 1 Openly disregard (a rule, law or convention)

    ‘these same companies still flout basic ethical practices’
    • ‘In the future, how can we make demands like that with a straight face - or will others pay any heed when we ignore the conventions and flout the rules ourselves?’
    • ‘Civil disobedience didn't mean flouting all law.’
    • ‘Under EU rules they flout the law if they carry out the same practice as American dentists and could face six months in jail or a £5,000 fine.’
    • ‘However, it appears that some people think they can flout the law and jeopardise public safety.’
    • ‘He said motorists ‘are openly flouting this law which shows a total lack of respect for the rules of the road’.’
    • ‘But every possible chance he has to help police, to tell the truth, to not flout convention, to ignore his marriage vows, he clearly thinks the rules do not apply to him.’
    • ‘The contractors in turn flout all labour laws and do not even pay minimum wages.’
    • ‘They're bending the rules; they're trying it on; they're flouting the law.’
    • ‘Friends say that the no hard drugs rule is openly flouted, which is sad but not great a surprise.’
    • ‘In fact, the aggressor in this war has not only ignored the relevant UN resolution, it has defied the United Nations and openly flouted international law.’
    • ‘Indeed gothic novels, while depicting evil aristocrats flouting law and convention, also betrayed a nostalgia for the feudal order and aristocratic values.’
    • ‘If people know of businesses which are flouting the law for profit, they should alert the authorities.’
    • ‘In the past there have been a number of cases in which employers openly flouted the labour regulations and failed to observe even this minimal protocol when sacking workers.’
    • ‘Many large biological molecules like DNA seem to flout a basic law of nature: Although their charges have the same sign, they can attract one another and clump together in water.’
    • ‘I can go on and on about our numerous sins, the way we flout laws or conventions or acceptable behaviour without even thinking about it.’
    • ‘In dismissing this official requirement of a sister state, it would deliberately and openly flout international law and comity.’
    • ‘Rules are flouted and violated with immunity exposing the common man to potential peril.’
    • ‘We are flouting this law of basic economics, waving our 620 billion dollars of foreign debt like so much dirty laundry.’
    • ‘In Cork, the Southern Health Board promised to ‘vigorously pursue any employers that are openly flouting the law.’’
    • ‘MPs on the committee lambasted self-regulation as ‘totally inadequate’ in curtailing sharp practices among operators who flouted the rules.’
    defy, refuse to obey, go against, rebel against, scorn, disdain, show contempt for, fly in the face of, thumb one's nose at, make a fool of, poke fun at
    disobey, break, violate, fail to comply with, fail to observe, contravene, infringe, breach, commit a breach of, transgress against
    ignore, disregard, set one's face against, kick against
    cock a snook at
    set at naught
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1archaic [no object]Mock; scoff.
      ‘the women pointed and flouted at her’
      • ‘‘Okay, you get off this time but just make sure you know, flattery only gets you so far,’ she flouted.’


Flout and flaunt do not have the same meaning: see flaunt


Mid 16th century: perhaps from Dutch fluiten whistle, play the flute, hiss (in derision); German dialect pfeifen auf, literally pipe at has a similar extended meaning.