The Closing Word: Flout

The Closing Word: FloutThis week we continue our vocabulary-building series, “The Closing Word.” Each week we provide a new word to help build your vocabulary and show you an example of how to use it.

This week’s closing word:


Pronounced: (FLOUT)

1. treat with contemptuous disregard
2. laugh at with contempt and derision

From “Flaunt is to show off, but flout is to ignore the rules. Oddly enough, when flout came into existence in the 1550s, it had a much different sense to it than it does now; it’s believed that it evolved from the Middle English flowten ”to play the flute.” As a verb, it means to scorn, as in, for example, to scorn a law, person, or social norm by defying it. As a noun, it is a contemptuous remark or insult. Wrote William Shakespeare, “Flout ‘em, and scout ‘em; and scout ‘em and flout ‘em; Thought is free.”

“It has now come to light that during the mortgage crisis, certain banks floutedforeclosure laws.”


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