Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for December 13, 2020 is:
flout FLOUT verb
1 : to treat with contemptuous disregard : scorn
2 : to indulge in scornful behavior
“Research shows that people who intentionally flout convention and stand out are perceived as more competent … than people who conform.” — Sunny Bonnell, quoted in The Investor’s Business Daily, 6 Mar. 2020
“Onondaga County inspectors will head out this weekend to check on mask-wearing in bars and restaurants, and they will be quick to hand out fines if they find establishments flouting the rules, County Executive Ryan McMahon said today.” — Tim Knauss, Syracuse.com, 29 Oct. 2020
Did you know?
If you flout a rule or societal norm, you ignore it without hiding what you’re doing, or showing fear or shame. The similar-sounding word flaunt is sometimes used in the same way, though that word’s older and more common meaning is “to display ostentatiously.” Critics have been complaining about the confusion of these two words since the early 1900s, but use of flaunt with the meaning “to treat with contemptuous disregard” is found in even polished, edited writing, and so that meaning is included in our and other dictionaries as an established use of the word. Nonetheless, you may want to avoid it: there are still many who judge harshly those who fail to keep these two words distinct.