Etymology: perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse flana to rush around
1. to display or obtrude oneself to public notice <a great flaunting crowd — Charles Dickens> 2. to wave or flutter showily <the flag flaunts in the breeze> transitive verb 1. to display ostentatiously or impudently ; parade <flaunting his superiority> 2. to treat contemptuously <flaunted the rules — Louis Untermeyer> Synonyms: see show • flaunt noun • flauntingly adverb • flaunty adjective Usage: Although transitive sense 2 of flaunt undoubtedly arose from confusion with flout, the contexts in which it appears cannot be called substandard <meting out punishment to the occasional mavericks who operate rigged games, tolerate rowdyism, or otherwise flaunt the law — Oscar Lewis> <observed with horror the flaunting of their authority in the suburbs, where men…put up buildings that had no place at all in a Christian commonwealth — Marchette Chute> <in our profession…very rarely do we publicly chastise a colleague who has flaunted our most basic principles — R. T. Blackburn, AAUP Bulletin>. If you use it, however, you should be aware that many people will consider it a mistake. Use of flout in the sense of flaunt 1 is found occasionally <“The proper pronunciation,” the blonde said, flouting her refined upbringing, “is pree feeks” — Mike Royko>.
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.