flaunt

flaunter, n.flauntingly, adv.
/flawnt/, v.i.
1. to parade or display oneself conspicuously, defiantly, or boldly.
2. to wave conspicuously in the air.
v.t.
3. to parade or display ostentatiously: to flaunt one's wealth.
4. to ignore or treat with disdain: He was expelled for flaunting military regulations.
n.
5. the act of flaunting.
6. Obs. something flaunted.
[1560-70; of obscure orig.; cf. Norw dial. flanta to show off]
Syn. 3. flourish, exhibit, vaunt, show off.
Usage. 4. The use of FLAUNT TO mean "to ignore or treat with disdain" (He flaunts community standards with his behavior) is strongly objected to by many usage guides, which insist that only FLOUT can properly express this meaning. From its earliest appearance in English in the 16th century, FLAUNT has had the meanings "to display oneself conspicuously, defiantly, or boldly" in public and "to parade or display ostentatiously." These senses approach those of FLOUT, which dates from about the same period: "to treat with disdain, scorn, or contempt; scoff at; mock."
A sentence like Once secure in his new social position, he was able to flaunt his lower-class origins can thus be ambiguous in current English. Considering the similarity in pronunciation of the two words, it is not surprising that FLAUNT has assumed the meanings of FLOUT and that this use has appeared in the speech and edited writing of even well-educated, literate persons. Nevertheless, many regard the senses of FLAUNT and FLOUT as entirely unrelated and concerned speakers and writers still continue to keep them separate.

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

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  • flaunt — ► VERB ▪ display ostentatiously. USAGE It is a common error to use flaunt when flout is intended. Flaunt means ‘display ostentatiously’, while flout means ‘openly disregard (a rule or convention)’. ORIGIN of unknown origin …   English terms dictionary

  • flaunt´i|ly — flaunt|y «FLN tee, FLAHN », adjective. flaunting; showy. –flaunt´i|ly, adverb. –flaunt´i|ness, noun …   Useful english dictionary

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