Also found in: Thesaurus.
v. flaunt·ed, flaunt·ing, flaunts
1. To exhibit ostentatiously or shamelessly: flaunts his trendy clothes; flaunts his knowledge about music. See Synonyms at show.
2. Usage Problem To ignore or disregard (a rule, for example) openly or scornfully.
1. To show oneself off or move in an ostentatious way: "A tortoiseshell butterfly flaunted across the window" (Virginia Woolf).
2. To wave grandly: pennants flaunting in the wind.
Usage Note: Flaunt as a transitive verb means "to exhibit ostentatiously": She flaunted her wealth. To flout is "to show contempt for something by disregarding it": Some people at the reception flouted convention by wearing sneakers. For some time now flaunt has been used in the sense "to show contempt for," even by educated users of English. But this usage is still widely seen as erroneous. In our 2009 survey, 73 percent of the Usage Panel rejected it in the sentence This is just another example of an executive flaunting the rules for personal gain.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.