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adjective friv·o·lous \ˈfri-və-ləs\

Simple Definition of frivolous

  • : not important : not deserving serious attention

  • : silly and not serious

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of frivolous

  1. 1 a :  of little weight or importance b :  having no sound basis (as in fact or law) <a frivolous lawsuit>

  2. 2 a :  lacking in seriousness b :  marked by unbecoming levity

frivolously adverb
frivolousness noun

Examples of frivolous in a sentence

  1. She knew that people might think her frivolous, Kitty said, to talk to some saint when she had a cooking disaster, but that was what she really believed the saints were there for. —Alice Munro, New Yorker, 8 Oct. 2001

  2. As the Explorer quickly became the most popular SUV of all time … a number of lawsuits concerning the Firestone tires were filed, the first in 1992. But Ford and Firestone, like most companies in today's … society, tend to assume that the bulk of legal actions are frivolous. —Daniel Eisenberg, Time, 11 Sept. 2000

  3. There is no frivolous decoration, no canned music, nothing but the essentials—well-worn cutlery and table linen, unpretentious glasses. —Peter Mayle, GQ, May 1998

  4. She thinks window shopping is a frivolous activity.

  5. <judges are getting sick of people bringing frivolous lawsuits>

Origin of frivolous

Middle English, from Latin frivolus

First Known Use: 15th century

FRIVOLOUS Defined for Kids


adjective friv·o·lous \ˈfri-və-ləs\

Definition of frivolous for Students

  1. 1 :  of little importance :  trivial <a frivolous matter>

  2. 2 :  lacking in seriousness <a frivolous boyfriend>

Law Dictionary


adjective friv·o·lous \ˈfri-və-ləs\

Legal Definition of frivolous

  1. :  lacking in any arguable basis or merit in either law or fact

Additional Notes on frivolous

In an attempt to discourage frivolous lawsuits, Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires the signature of an attorney or party on any pleading, motion, or other paper to certify that to the signer's knowledge it is grounded in fact and warranted by law or otherwise brought in good faith and not for an improper purpose. A court is authorized to impose sanctions for violation of the rule.

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to expose to danger or risk

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