Main definitions of tout in English

: tout1tout2



  • 1[with object] Attempt to sell (something), typically by pestering people in an aggressive or bold manner.

    ‘Jim was touting his wares’
    • ‘Expanding an effort to position Caller ID as family friendly, Sprint this week will break a new TV, print and radio campaign in local markets to tout the service.’
    • ‘The reply was to my now standard response to people hawking or touting things, which is ‘No thanks, I'm only interesting in drinking and girls’.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, marketers are increasingly eager to tout their wares to Broadway's captive audience.’
    • ‘A handful of profiteers, cashing in on this occasion to barter superstition, are ready to tout articles relating to funerals.’
    • ‘They don't tout their wares on the internet or at UK property exhibitions.’
    • ‘So it's no surprise to see every major player in the market touting special offers.’
    • ‘This is only one of hundreds of such devices being touted to the naïve, and selling very well.’
    • ‘Still hundreds of people jammed the officially sanctioned market and dozens of illegal vendors froze outside as they touted vegetables, clothes and hunks of rancid meat.’
    • ‘Choosing what's right for you can be a difficult task, and almost all sites will tout their wares as the strongest Salvia available.’
    • ‘It was perhaps elitist to have had low expectations before viewing the film, but one is too wary of packaged presentations from Hollywood touting the wares of the fickle god of consumerism.’
    • ‘Hawkers tout their wares, housewives haggle and workmen of Venice's last working boat yard scrub barnacles from the bottoms of slender craft.’
    • ‘Maybe they should have Gough out on the doorsteps as a pitchman, dodging the election canvassers to personally tout the club's wares.’
    • ‘Surely, for those who are interested in pornography, the real thing is readily available, and in abundance, along several major streets, where VCD vendors tout their tasteless wares openly for passers-by.’
    • ‘He is steadily getting back on his feet, his demeanour, showing that he is far from being the idle waster, and he is respected, as he respects others, and doesn't actively tout his wares.’
    • ‘We see shoeblacks and lamplighters with their tools and utensils; and milkmaids, fruit sellers and prostitutes touting their wares.’
    • ‘See Arnold in a box; see Arnold hefting aluminum tea pots; see Arnold slurping noodles, touting hyper-caffeine energy drinks, flogging beer, see the depths of Arnold.’
    • ‘Gilbert may not be touting the business but if a big European or US bank comes along with an offer, which must be a possibility, then we will find out just exactly what Aberdeen's brand is currently worth.’
    1. 1.1Attempt to persuade people of the merits of (someone or something)
      ‘the headquarters facility was touted as the best in the country’
      • ‘Since he entered politics, the younger Lee has always been touted as a future Prime Minister, and soon he will get his chance and be able to finally step out of the massive political shadow cast by his father.’
      • ‘‘The wars we still face’ are chronically touted as imperatives.’
      • ‘Being organised by the Apparel Export Promotion Council, in association with the Ministry of Textiles, the fair is being touted as the biggest garment fair of the Indian apparel industry.’
      • ‘It is too new and too insular just yet to be touted as having surpassed the personal skill of the candidate, the mainstream media and advertising as the most effective way to reach voters, as some have argued.’
      • ‘Being touted as favourites is always a perilous position to be in as Portlaoise learned to their expense however the baton of favouritism for the showpiece finale has now been passed on to Stradbally.’
      • ‘The cost of gas, which only a few years ago was being touted as a cheap and reliable source of energy, has already gone through the roof and its price is now the subject of two official investigations into market irregularities.’
      • ‘All three have been touted as potential suitors for the Edinburgh-based bank in the past, and may yet be able to persuade their shareholders that it is worth paying a hefty premium for whisking her away from under Halifax's nose.’
      • ‘As a journalist working in the Zimbabwean tourism industry, I have watched with deepening concern as what was once touted as ‘the industry of the future’ has taken a vertical plunge.’
      • ‘The new channel, said to be promoted by film producers and front-ranking artistes, is touted as an answer for video piracy, since it would hold the telecast rights for a certain period of time.’
      • ‘While he didn't see much of the ball at centre half back this morning, he's been touted as a genuine AFL scholarship prospect, something all of his team-mates dream about.’
      • ‘As recently as 1998, having led them to an improbably high 11 th place finish, he was being touted as a long-term contender to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.’
      • ‘For quite some time now, the tourism sector has been touted as a key component of this country's socio-economic development with great potential to help turn things around.’
      • ‘An extra inflow of US $64 billion from the developed world has been touted as the ‘reward’ for following approved policies on governance and economics.’
      • ‘It is being touted as a ‘Channel With a Difference’.’
      • ‘The island republic of Madagascar, lying some 400 kilometers off the coast of east Africa, is touted as the only African country with a single language.’
      • ‘The £22 million, 3.8 kilometre by-pass at High and Low Newton, has been touted as a scheme that would save many lives on the notoriously dangerous road.’
      • ‘Already being touted as the best comic book film ever (until, that is, the next one comes along), it is probably no surprise that the studio bigwigs want to cash in on the expected rewards this flick is sure to reap in.’
      • ‘It says the measures would ensure the pit's viability and help create jobs for 240 miners from the Selby coalfield which is due to close later this year despite being once touted as the industry's future.’
      • ‘In the process, they not only skewered Bath's hopes of avenging last season's Premiership final defeat but also raised question marks over a number of Bath forwards being touted as England starters.’
      • ‘The number of school buildings built, or the number of students enrolled in schools, was often touted as yardsticks of the great progress made in education under the previous New Order regime.’
      commend, endorse, praise, recommend, support, urge, push, speak of, talk of
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2British Scalp (a ticket)
      peddle, sell, hawk, offer for sale, market, vend
      View synonyms
  • 2North American [no object] Offer racing tips for a share of any resulting winnings.

    1. 2.1British [with object]Spy out the movements and condition of (a racehorse in training) in order to gain information to be used when betting.


  • 1A person soliciting custom or business, typically in an aggressive or bold manner.

    • ‘After a bit of staggering between bars and buses, we were missing the attention of the local hasslers, and were plotting on better ways of dealing with touts and hustlers.’
    • ‘Almost from the moment you step off the plane, you will be accosted by touts, hawkers and rogues.’
    • ‘You must get lost like everyone else in the covered bazaar and be picked up by a charming tout who will show you the Bey's bed and the view from the rooftops.’
    • ‘Drenched with sweat like nowhere else I've ever been, regularly abandoning planned trips to local museums, we stagger around, too exhausted to even knock back all of the cyclo touts and motorbike taxis.’
    • ‘Instead of real life's morlock tobacco bootleggers and DVD touts, Pantoland has sweet Aladdie, a boy so poor he does not have a name.’
    • ‘There are people everywhere: market touts, pilgrims, ascetics draped in beaded necklaces, Sikhs with full beards and curled moustaches, women in red and pink silk with all the grace of Bollywood stars.’
    • ‘In two of the cases, the men declared that the tout had entered a public house where they were drinking, had handed them the watches as free gifts and had even treated them to beer as an extra inducement to accept the gift.’
    • ‘Stop to take a photograph of the tombs themselves, the Sphinx or any other of the monuments here, and the touts will swoop down with hands outstretched and pleading expressions.’
    • ‘I stopped off at Na'ama Bay, the heart of the resort, on the way, and it seemed a nice enough place, with no hassling touts to trap the unwary.’
    • ‘This is the best term to use for touts - street hawkers who approach you at every tourist stop to ask you to buy things.’
    • ‘If you can handle Delhi's touts, beggars, street-chaos, noise and hard bargaining, then the rest of India will feel like a bit of a walk in the park in comparison.’
    • ‘One street trader on Friargate, who wished not to be named, said legitimate traders were being affected by the litter left by touts handing out flyers and ‘chasing’ the public with clipboards.’
    • ‘It is difficult for a visitor to walk down the street without attracting the relentless attention of touts and hustlers wanting to sell you something, anything - a bauble, a sob story, a woman.’
    • ‘And while the Taj is a mausoleum, moribund except for the swarms of tourists and touts, the Golden Temple pulses with the energy of a thriving living community - the spiritual and temporal centre of the Sikh faith.’
    • ‘There's a good Internet center (opposite the Good Morning Ho Chi Minh City restaurant), an excellent grocery and general store, and street-traders and touts in abundance.’
    • ‘Having said that, the Grand Bazaar traders have realised that hard-core hustling is bad for long-term business, and so do not pester shoppers in the way that bazaar touts do in some parts of the Middle East or north Africa.’
    • ‘There are no street-children, no touts and no drugs.’
    • ‘The capital, Tripoli, is a pan-African city of Italianate squares and Arab souks where visitors can wander without being hassled by touts or pushy shopkeepers.’
    • ‘Tangier is a beautiful city, but in addition to being the ‘gateway to Morocco’ it's also the hot spot for rough trade, touts and general sleaze in all forms, a hangover from its past as an interzone of permissiveness.’
    • ‘They can meet you when you arrive in each area, which makes dealing with the inevitable scrum of touts distinctly less daunting.’
    1. 1.1British A person who buys tickets for an event to resell them at a profit; a scalper.
      • ‘That is unless you're prepared to shell out a hefty sum to a ticket tout.’
      • ‘The festival is about charities - very few people make money from it and the touts damage this.’
      • ‘Music fans have been rocked after hundreds of tickets for this year's V Festival were snapped up by touts trying to make a quick profit.’
      • ‘About 20 pairs had been put up for sale, worth more than £3,500 to the online touts.’
      • ‘In effect, in a bid to stop the touts, Glastonbury have created a system that punishes individual music fans for finding their plans changing between 9 am on the first Sunday in April and June.’
      • ‘It significantly helped with the touts and didn't cause any significant problems with the queuing.’
      • ‘And the system eliminates touts because the doormen will check, visually rather than by computer, that the barcode message has been sent directly from the ticketing agency.’
      • ‘We bought two tickets from an English tout - at face value because he couldn't get rid of them, and found ourselves neatly positioned near the halfway line, but up amongst the clouds.’
      • ‘Amongst the most cunning of the Irish were Charles Mitchell, from Boston's poor Chelsea suburb, and Mike Meehan, another Bostonian who initially earned his crust as a ticket tout before turning to broking.’
      • ‘At Tokyo station before Ireland's game with Germany, I saw touts from Liverpool with brick-sized wads of spares engaging with desperate Irish supporters, who were being asked for three times face value.’
      • ‘God forgive me, I should have been out there queueing at 4am, along with the ticket touts and scalpers, and the diehards.’
      • ‘These raids were made possible by Operation Refresh, which will also be targeting street drinking, begging and ticket touts.’
      • ‘The US government's only hope is Kevin's identical twin Jake, an ticket tout who is planning to marry his student nurse girlfriend Julie (Washington).’
      • ‘From what we saw later though the touts must have miscalculated rather badly the on-the-day demand as they found themselves asking not too much of a premium over the ticket price (supply and demand and all that).’
      • ‘At the entrance, fans without tickets pleaded for spares, but apologetically, lest they be mistaken for touts and beaten to death.’
      • ‘The residents of 711 flats just don't fill the streets like 38,000 fans plus ticket touts all arriving at once.’
      • ‘Bad experiences of haggling with illegal touts on the street or in dodgy minicab offices are rooted in people's minds.’
      • ‘Afterwards, Mr Cullen said the award had a special meaning for him as back in the 1940s and 1950s he was a cinema ticket tout, which entitled him to watch free movies, and saw every Grace Kelly film.’
      • ‘Although I've travelled a lot without a valid ticket, I've never bought or sold to a ticket tout.’
      • ‘‘This is no better than the tout on the street selling tickets at inflated prices on the black market,’ he said.’
      ticket tout, illegal salesman
      View synonyms
  • 2North American A person who offers racing tips for a share of any resulting winnings.

    • ‘They're worse than track touts, but certain ideas have crossed my mind.’
    • ‘Having inflicted a 15th place Kentucky Derby finisher on Out of Left Field readers, this chastened tout will perform the public service of not tipping any horse in the Preakness.’
    • ‘A share in the final winnings made the profit for the tout.’
    • ‘Lagging behind, he bought a $2 tip sheet from a racetrack tout, who told him for five bucks he would ‘mark all the winners.’’
    • ‘After a two-month trial, a former racetrack tout and his former accountant were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud people who invested in a racing syndicate.’
  • 3Scottish Northern Irish informal An informer.

    • ‘Three months later, he agreed to become a tout in return for the FBI paying his air fares and expenses in Ireland.’
    • ‘We've got some information from touts, but no one knows how much explosive they have.’
    • ‘I was there when people were re-located out of this country in the name of Ireland as touts or informers.’
    • ‘But such is the widespread use of touts, some locals are reluctant to contact the Gardai.’
    • ‘You know, it's easy for people, oh, he's a tout and informer.’
    • ‘‘I went into the castle with Dave Neligan to spot an ex-serviceman who was supposed to be a tout for the British,’ Tim Kennedy recalled.’
    • ‘They started calling me a tout (republican slang for an informer) and saying they were going to shoot me.’
    • ‘For as long as there's been an Irish Republican Army, there have been informers - or touts, to use their description - in its ranks.’
    • ‘In Dungiven in County Londonderry in the 1970s I was told to respond to a tout who was on the run.’


Middle English tute look out of Germanic origin; related to Dutch tuit spout, nozzle Later senses were watch, spy on (late 17th century) and solicit business (mid 18th century). The noun was first recorded (early 18th century) in the slang use thieves' lookout.

Main definitions of tout in English

: tout1tout2



  • Used before the name of a city to refer to its high society or people of importance.

    ‘le tout Washington adored him’


French, suggested by le tout Paris all (of) Paris used to refer to Parisian high society.