The words flaunt and flout are both verbs that may have similar sounds, causing confusion to some but have very distinct meanings. The use of the word flout to mean flaunt and vice versa may seem commonplace but some people are keen on preserving their distinction.
The verb flaunt is commonly used to mean “to display something ostentatiously, especially in order to provoke envy or admiration or to show defiance” or basically, “to show off.”
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Albanian crooks in UK flaunt their wealth to pals back home by posing for selfies with stacks of cash
Rich Kids of UK Instagram mock Primark ‘peasants’ and flaunt sports cars, cash and champagne
On the other hand, the term flout is a verb meaning “to openly disregard a rule, law or convention” or “to show contempt for or to scorn.”
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Despite the obvious difference in their meanings and uses, some writers still commit the mistake of using one term in place of the other.
And they face 40 lashes if they continue to flout the rules – which date back more than 1,000 years when cloth was expensive and it was deemed an insult to Allah to flout one’s wealth by having extra material dragging on the ground.
Notice the above sentence. In the first part of the sentence, the term flout was used correctly as it means that continued disregard for the rules could result to 40 lashes. However, in the latter part, flout was used to actually mean flaunt, as it refers to showing off one’s wealth.
A quick tip to determining which word to use is to remember that to flout is to act out of the norms and rules while to flaunt is what your aunt would do if she bought a new dress.