Commonly Confused Words: Flaunt vs. Flout

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What does each word mean?

If you flaunt something, it means you are displaying it in an ostentatious manner.

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is flaunt used in some example sentences:

  • He flaunted his new shoes.
  • Having saved up for months, she was looking forward to flaunting her new iPhone.

Click here to find the Spellzone vocabulary lists related to the word flaunt.

If you flout something, it means you are disregarding a rule or convention. The word is also sometimes used to mean ‘mock’ or ‘scoff’.

Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is flout used in some example sentences:

  • She decided to flout the rules and skip school.
  • He was a terrible driver, always flouting the law by disregarding the speed limit.

Click here to create a Spellzone vocabulary list using the word flout.

Where does each word come from?

The origins of both flaunt and flout are unknown.

The word flout perhaps comes from a particular use of the Middle English ‘flowton’ meaning ‘to play the flute’. Flowten is similar to the Middle Dutch ‘fluyten’ which means ‘to jeer’ as well as ‘to play the flute’.

Flaunt, it is speculated, began as a variant of flout.

Are there any tricks to help remember the difference between these words?

  • Think of the feeling of wanting to show off something new to help you remember flaunt is spelt with an n.
  • Say to yourself: ‘My aunt always flaunts her new clothes.’
  • Think of tutting at someone who is flouting the law to help you remember the word ends in ut.


What words do you constantly mix up? Let us know and we’ll cover them in our Commonly Confused Words series.

Sources: The Online Etymology Dictionary.

13 Jun 2017
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