flaunt vs swank what difference

what is difference between flaunt and swank



  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /flɔːnt/
  • (some accents) IPA(key): /flɑːnt/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /flɔnt/
  • (cotcaught merger) IPA(key): /flɒnt/
  • Rhymes: -ɔːnt, -ɑːnt

Etymology 1

Of North Germanic origin. Perhaps related to Norwegian flanta (to show off, wander about), Icelandic flana (to rush about, act rashly or heedlessly) and then also to French flâner (to wander around, loiter).

Alternatively, it could be related to Swedish flankt (loosely, flutteringly) (compare English flaunt-a-flaunt), from flanka (waver, hang and wave about, ramble), a nasalised variant of flakka (to waver), related to Middle English flacken (to move to and fro, flutter, palpitate). See flack.

Alternative forms

  • flant (obsolete)


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.
  3. (intransitive, archaic or literary) To show off, as with flashy clothing.
    • 1712, John Arbuthnot, The History of John Bull
      You flaunt about the streets in your new gilt chariot.
    • 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.

Usage notes

  • Do not confuse with flout.



flaunt (plural flaunts)

  1. (obsolete) Anything displayed for show.

Etymology 2


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

  1. (proscribed) To flout.



From dialectal swank (to strut, behave ostentatiously), perhaps from an unrecorded Old English root, derived from Proto-Germanic *swankijaną (to cause to sway, swing) or from Proto-Germanic *swankaz (lithe, bendsome, slender), related to the Scots swank and the Middle High German swanken, modern German schwanken (to sway).


  • (Received Pronunciation, General American) IPA(key): /swæŋk/
  • Rhymes: -æŋk


swank (comparative swanker, superlative swankest)

  1. Fashionably elegant, posh.
    • 2011, Richelle Mead, Succubus Dreams
      Warren, Emerald City’s owner, had thrown a swank party at his house and invited the whole staff, along with about fifty others.


swank (countable and uncountable, plural swanks)

  1. A fashionably elegant person.
  2. Ostentation; bravado.


swank (third-person singular simple present swanks, present participle swanking, simple past and past participle swanked)

  1. To swagger, to show off.

Related terms

  • swankily
  • swankiness
  • swanky


  • Kwans, kawns, knaws, wanks



swank (comparative mair swank, superlative maist swank)

  1. slender; pliant; agile; supple
    Synonym: swanking

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