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Alternative formsEdit


Of North Germanic origin, related to Norwegian flanta (to show off, wander about), Icelandic flana (to rush about, act rashly or heedlessly); or perhaps related to Swedish flankt ("loosely, flutteringly"; compare English flaunt-a-flaunt), from Swedish flanka (waver, hang and wave about, ramble), a nasalised variant of Swedish flakka (to waver), related to Middle English flacken (to move to and fro, flutter, palpitate), see flack.



flaunt (third-person singular simple present flaunts, present participle flaunting, simple past and past participle flaunted)

  1. (intransitive, archaic) To wave or flutter smartly in the wind.
    • 1931, William Faulkner, Sanctuary, Library of America, 1985, p.26:
      The house came into sight, above the cedar grove beyond whose black interstices an apple orchard flaunted in the sunny afternoon.
  2. (transitive) To parade, display with ostentation.
    She's always flaunting her designer clothes.
    • 2017 June 7, Adam Lusher, “Adnan Khashoggi: the 'whoremonger' whose arms deals funded a playboy life of decadence and 'pleasure wives'”, in The Independent[1], London:
      Never one to miss an opportunity to flaunt his wealth, Khashoggi let his yacht be used for the 1983 Bond film Never Say Never Again.
  3. (intransitive, archaic or literary) To show off, as with flashy clothing.
    • Arbuthnot
      You flaunt about the streets in your new gilt chariot.
    • Alexander Pope
      One flaunts in rags, one flutters in brocade.
    • 1856, Dinah Craik, John Halifax Chapter VI,
      [T]he younger belles had begun to flaunt in the French fashions of flimsy muslins, shortwaisted— narrow-skirted.
    • 1897, Henry James, What Maisie Knew Chapter XXV,
      [] and Mrs. Wix seemed to flaunt there in her finery.
  4. (proscribed) To flout.
    Wheeler said companies already are flaunting the rules by offering free or sponsored data services for some products. [2]

Usage notesEdit

  • Do not confuse with flout.



flaunt (plural flaunts)

  1. (obsolete) Anything displayed for show.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)