'Flaunt' vs 'Flout': What's the Difference?

By Katie Moore, updated on August 14, 2023

‘Flaunt’ vs ‘Flout’: What’s the difference? The English language has a variety of instances where words can look and sound similar, making them more easily confused. Getting words mixed up is natural, but the more we learn about them, the less likely we are to make mistakes in the future. Below you’ll find our guide to helping you avoid these mistakes. 

In a rush? Here’s a short preview of what’s to come: 

  • ‘Flaunt’ is a word that means to display oneself in a bold way.
  • ‘Flout’ is a word that means to scorn or scoff at something. 

What’s the Difference Between ‘Flaunt’ vs ‘Flout’?

When the words we’re learning are similar in both spelling and pronunciation, they are much more commonly confused. So what are some clues that may help begin to tell them apart? Since both words are verbs, we can’t rely on parts of speech as hints, but there are other clues. 

An interesting way to think about these words is that they are not entirely opposites but that one is a reaction to the other. In this case, ‘Flouting’ is a reaction to ‘Flaunting.’ ‘Flout’ means to show disdain toward someone, and ‘Flaunt’ means to parade and boast excessively. 

  • Following the definitions, a logical thought process would be that people are not fond of those who ‘Flaunt,’ so a natural response would be to ‘Flout’ or show disdain. 

So why would we care about this thought process, and how do we use this logic to help us learn more about these words? While it may seem simple, we can use the alphabet to our advantage here. 

  • The “fla-” in ‘Flaunt’ comes alphabetically before the “flo-” of ‘Flout’ which connects to the logical order of how the definitions of each word would respond to one another. 

When we learn how words interact with each other, that can occasionally be the best way to find out how they work individually. In this case, we see how ‘Flaunt’ vs ‘Flout’ differ because of how they interact while not overlapping with each other. 

There is, of course, much more to learn than how words interact, so let’s take a closer look individually at the meanings of ‘Flaunt’ vs ‘Flout.’

Definition of ‘Flaunt’: What Does it Mean?

According to the Dictionary, ‘Flaunt’ is a verb that means: 

  • To parade or display oneself conspicuously, defiantly, or boldly
  • To wave conspicuously in the air
  • To parade or display ostentatiously
    • “To flaunt one’s wealth.”
  • To ignore or treat with disdain
    • “He was expelled for flaunting military regulations.”
  • Dress or behave in a sexually promiscuous way
    • “The dancers were known to flaunt their wares.”

As a noun, the word ‘Flaunt’ can also mean: 

  • The act of flaunting
  • Obsolete, something flaunted 

While the official origin of the word is unknown, many suspect it comes from the Germanic and Norwegian ‘flanta’, which means “to show off.”

Synonyms of ‘Flaunt’

  • Show off
  • Advertise
  • Brandish
  • Proclaim
  • Broadcast
  • Display
  • Flash
  • Expose
  • Flourish
  • Showcase

Antonyms of ‘Flaunt’

  • Hide
  • Conceal
  • Cover
  • Secrete
  • Suppress
  • Withhold
  • Refrain

Phrases with ‘Flaunt’

  • Flaunt wealth
  • Flaunt success
  • Flaunting status
  • Flaunt it if you’ve got it

Definition of ‘Flout’: What Does it Mean?

According to the Dictionary, ‘Flout’ is a verb which means: 

  • To treat with disdain, scorn, or contempt; scoff at; mock
    • “To flout the rules of propriety.”
  • To show disdain, scorn, or contempt; scoff, mock, or gibe (often followed by at)
    • “The woman pointed and flouted at her.”

As a noun, the word ‘Flout’ also means: 

  • A disdainful, scornful, or contemptuous remark or act; insult; gibe

Synonyms of ‘Flout’

  • Defy
  • Mock
  • Disregard
  • Repudiate
  • Scorn
  • Spurn
  • Deride
  • Jeer
  • Insult

Antonyms of ‘Flout’

  • Approve
  • Commend
  • Flatter
  • Please
  • Compliment
  • Praise
  • Honor
  • Respect

Phrases with ‘Flout’

  • To be flouted at
  • Flout the rules

Pronunciations: How to Pronounce ‘Flaunt’ vs ‘Flout’

We don’t only use words in writing; we use them to communicate in conversation as well. And, with words that sound similar and have similar spelling, knowing how to pronounce them properly is very important. Speaking clearly can be the key to others understanding you and following your meaning, so let’s make sure you’re confident in saying ‘Flaunt’ vs ‘Flout’ correctly. 

Use this phonetic spelling of ‘Flaunt’ as a guide: 

  • ‘Flaw-nt’ (with the ‘au’ making a long sound as in “draw”)

Use this phonetic spelling of ‘Flout’ as a guide: 

  • ‘Flow-t’ (note that this does not sound like “flow,” but rather, in this case, the phonetic ‘ow’ sound sounds like “couch” or “shower”)

How to Use ‘Flaunt’ vs ‘Flout’ in a Sentence

The final major step to learning new words is actually being able to use them because what good is memorizing definitions and pronunciations if you don’t feel confident actually saying and using the word? Knowing how words function in sentences and being able to put them in the right context is key to mastering new vocabulary. 

Below you’ll find sample sentences using ‘Flaunt’ vs ‘Flout’ that you can use as reference, then you can try writing your own sentences to practice understanding context clues. 

‘Flaunt’ Example Sentences

  • Flaunting your wealth in front of those who are less fortunate is typically frowned upon. 
  • Despite winning three awards in one night, she remained humble and didn’t flaunt her success. 
  • He got in trouble for flaunting safety regulations and not wearing a hard hat in the construction zone. 
  • He often flaunted the rules because he thought they were silly and didn’t apply to him. 

‘Flout’ Example Sentences

  • There was a crowd outside the courthouse flouting at the billionaire who had stolen from his employees as he was brought in for a hearing. 
  • The teens were embarrassed by their family wearing matching shirts, so they flouted the tradition and wore other clothes. 
  • Flouting authority could land you in trouble or sometimes even in jail. 
  • The older couple flouted at their young neighbors for holding loud parties every weekend. 

‘Flaunt’ vs ‘Flout’ Example Sentences

  • His coworkers flouted at him for being inconsiderate and flaunting his new promotion and raise. 
  • She liked to flaunt her reckless attitude by flouting her teachers, which often landed her in detention. 

Final Advice on ‘Flaunt’ vs ‘Flout’

English has a habit of constructing similar words that overlap or interact just enough to be commonly mixed up. This can be very frustrating when trying to learn new vocabulary, but we hope this article has shown that breaking down the learning process is much more manageable. Words like ‘Flaunt’ vs ‘Flout’ can seem tricky at first, but when you see how they interact and relate, then focus on how they differ, you can master them individually and as a pair. 

Want a review? Here’s a quick recap of what was covered: 

  • ‘Flaunt’ is a verb that means to parade or display oneself boldly or conspicuously.
  • ‘Flout’ is a verb that means to show or treat with disdain or scorn, and this can come as a reaction to someone flaunting. 

Interested in further expanding your vocabulary? Be sure to check out other confusing words to learn more tips and tricks for tackling difficult words. Remember that context is crucial, and careful pronunciation can be the key to effective communication. 

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Written By:
Katie Moore
Katie is a recent graduate of Occidental College where she worked as a writer and editor for the school paper while studying linguistics and journalism. She loves helping others find their voice in writing and making their work the strongest it can be. Katie also loves learning and speaking other languages and wants to help make writing accessible for everyone.

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