he flaunts his young wife as if she were the prize heifer at the county fair

show off, display ostentatiously, make a (great) show of, put on show/display, parade; brag about, crow about, vaunt; informal flash
flaunt, flout
Confusion about these terms is so distressingly common that some dictionaries have thrown in the towel and now treat flaunt as a synonym of flout. Flout means "contravene or disregard; treat with contempt." Flaunt means "show off or parade something in an ostentatious manner", but is often incorrectly used for flout, perhaps because it is misunderstood as a telescoped version of flout and taunt — e.g.: "In Washington, the White House issued a statement that deplored the Nigerian Government's ‘flaunting [read flouting] of even the most basic international norms and universal standards of human rights.’ " (New York Times; Nov. 11, 1995.)
Of course, flaunt is more often used correctly — e.g.: "He donates millions to religious and charitable groups, yet flaunts his own wealth." (Fortune; Aug. 18, 1997.) Flout, meanwhile, almost never causes a problem. Here it's correctly used: "A record rider turnout, fueled by the mayor's earlier pledge to end the escort and crack down on cyclists flouting traffic laws, poured into the streets on an improvised route." (San Francisco Examiner; Aug. 3, 1997.) But the rare mistake of misusing flout for flaunt does sometimes occur — e.g.: "Mr. Talton was soon joined by almost two dozen other conservative Republicans who filed en masse into the clerk's office to flout [read flaunt] their disapproval for their colleague and fellow party member." (Dallas Morning News; May 25, 2000.)
One federal appellate judge who misused flaunt for flout in a published opinion — only to be corrected by judges who later quoted him — appealed to Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, which accepts as standard any usage that can be documented with any frequency. The judge then attempted to justify his error and pledged to persist in it. Seeking refuge in a nonprescriptive dictionary, however, merely ignores the all-important distinction between formal contexts, in which strict standards of usage must apply, and informal contexts, in which venial faults of grammar or usage may, if we are lucky, go unnoticed (or unmentioned). — BG

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  • Flaunt — is a monthly American fashion culture magazine founded by the current editor in chief, Luis Barajas, and creative director, Jim Turner, also the founders of Detour magazine. Long Nguyen, a third founder and style director, also was working on… …   Wikipedia

  • flaunt´er — flaunt «flnt, flahnt», verb, noun. –v.t. to show off; try to impress others with; display ostentatiously or obtrusively: »She flaunts her riches before her friends. SYNONYM(S): flourish, obtrude. –v.i. 1. to parade oneself boastfully, impudently …   Useful english dictionary

  • flaunt — [ flɔnt ] verb transitive to deliberately try to make people notice your possessions, beauty, abilities, etc., because you want them to admire you: Lawrence didn t flaunt his wealth; he lived a simple life. flaunt yourself: Models flaunted… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • flaunt — flaunt, flout The two words are unrelated. To flaunt means ‘to display ostentatiously’: • Women should have it both ways they should be able to flaunt their sexuality and be taken seriously E. Wurtzel, 1998. To flout means ‘to show contempt for… …   Modern English usage

  • Flaunt — (fl[aum]nt or fl[add]nt; 277), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Flaunted}; p. pr. & vb. n.. {Flaunting}.] [Cf. dial. G. flandern to flutter, wave; perh. akin to E. flatter, flutter.] To throw or spread out; to flutter; to move ostentatiously; as, a flaunting …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flaunt — Flaunt, v. t. To display ostentatiously; to make an impudent show of. If you ve got it, flaunt it. [1913 Webster +PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Flaunt It — may refer to:*Flaunt It (album), a 1986 album by Sigue Sigue Sputnik *Flaunt It (song), a 2006 song by TV Rock …   Wikipedia

  • flaunt — flaunt·er; flaunt·ing·ly; flaunt; …   English syllables

  • 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

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

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