'Flaunt' or 'Flout'? What Is the Difference? | Mastering Grammar

(Last Updated: 13 May 2024)

Flaunt vs Flout: Understanding the Difference

The verbs flaunt and flout may look alike, but they have vastly different meanings.

What Does Flaunt Mean?

Flaunt (/flɔːnt/) means 'to display or show off something proudly, often in an ostentatious or boastful manner'. It is used when someone wants to draw attention to their possessions, achievements, or qualities:

She flaunted her new car by driving it around the neighbourhood.

✅ The wealthy businessman flaunted his expensive watch, making sure everyone noticed its gleaming diamonds.

✅ The actress arrived at the red carpet event, eager to flaunt her designer gown and expensive jewellery.

✅ After years of hard work, he achieved great success in his career and couldn't help but flaunt his accomplishments to his doubters.

What Does Flout Mean?

Flout (/flaʊt/) means 'to openly disregard or disobey a rule, law, or convention'. It implies a wilful or deliberate act of defiance or disrespect towards established norms or authorities:

✅ The protesters flouted the curfew and continued their demonstration.

✅ The rebellious student constantly flouted the school dress code by wearing inappropriate attire.

✅ Despite the clear signage, some drivers flouted the speed limit on the highway, endangering themselves and others on the road.

✅ The company faced severe penalties for flouting environmental regulations and polluting the nearby river.

In summary, flaunt is used when someone proudly displays or shows off something, while flout is used when someone openly disregards or disobeys rules or conventions.

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Examples from the Media

At 95, Mel Brooks is more than ready to flaunt his many achievements. Toronto Star (2021)

A Nigerian influencer who flaunted his lavish lifestyle online has been jailed for 11 years after laundering millions of stolen dollars by hacking into emails and convincing vulnerable people to wire money. Daily Mail (2022)

NSW Police will hand out on-the-spot $1000 fines to people who flout tighter lockdown rules, including holding house parties or having more than 10 mourners at a funeral. The Sydney Morning Herald (2020)

The White House and Trump campaign hosted large gatherings that flouted state and local restrictions. The New York Times (2020)


Choose the correct word to complete each sentence.

1. The politician's actions blatantly flaunted/flouted the law, leading to public outrage and calls for accountability.

2. Instead of quietly celebrating their success, the winning team decided to flaunt/flout their victory by parading through the streets with their trophy.

3. Some people feel the need to flaunt/flout their material possessions as a way of compensating for a lack of personal or professional success.

4. The singer thought he could flaunt/flout the rules of common decency by making offensive remarks during the interview.

5. Don't be afraid of showing off your creativity. If you've got it, flaunt/flout it!

6. Matt thought he was above the law and openly flaunted/flouted traffic regulations by speeding and ignoring traffic signals.

Answer Key

1. flouted    2. flaunt    3. flaunt    4. flout    5. flaunt    6. flouted

Real-World Examples of Misuse

(Image Source: HKDSE English Language 2017 Question Papers)
(Also by HKEAA: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14)

(Image Source: HKDSE English Language 2017 Question Papers)
(Also by HKEAA: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14)

(Image Source: HKDSE 2017 English Language Briefing Session)
(Also by HKEAA: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14)

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