flimflam was our Word of the Day on 10/24/2015. Hear the podcast!
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Examples of flimflam in a Sentence
The report is just a lot of corporate flimflam.
giving the new guy at work her cell phone number—“in case of an emergency”—was just a flimflam to pique his romantic interest
Recent Examples of flimflam from the Web
Memo to Sean: focus your efforts on exposing the flimflam Russian allegations against POTUS and highlighting his remarkable achievements! Don’t waste time trying to undermine one of your few allies.
California Rep. Adam Schiff may not offer much by way of substance, but give him marks for political flimflam.
Less deadly, but no less damaging, justice is seen as partial and those who govern us from both sides of the aisle are seen as flimflam men, lining their own pockets while increasingly large numbers of the vulnerable struggle to survive.
Much of this flimflam, of course, predated the 2000s.
The easy, if negative, response is that Unbuilt Detroit represents the flimflam of real estate development, where billion-dollar visions have little or nothing behind them but pretty pictures.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flimflam.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of flimflam
First Known Use: circa 1538See Words from the same year
Synonymsartifice, device, dodge, fetch, trick, gambit, gimmick, jig, juggle, knack, play, ploy, scheme, shenanigan, sleight, stratagem, wile
Related Wordsbluff, end run, feint; cheating, chicanery, cozenage, craft, crookery, cunning, deception, dupery, duplicity, fakery, jugglery, legerdemain, skulduggery (or skullduggery), subterfuge, swindling, trickery; fraud, gaff, hoax, sham, swindle; blind, front, smoke screen
Examples of flimflam in a Sentence
everyone likes to think that they're too smart to be flimflammed by anyone
Did You Know?
English is full of words concerned with trickery and deception, ranging from the colorful "flimflam," "bamboozle," and "hornswoggle" to the more mundane "deceive," "mislead," and "delude." "Flimflam" first entered English as a noun meaning "deceptive nonsense" in the second half of the 16th century. A sense meaning "deception" or "fraud" soon developed. The verb use didn't show up until well into the next century. In addition to general deceiving or tricking, the verb "flimflam" is often used specifically to refer to swindling someone out of money. The ultimate origin of "flimflam" is uncertain, but the word is probably of Scandinavian origin and may be related to the Old Norse flim, meaning "mockery."
First Known Use of flimflam
Synonymsbeat, bilk, bleed, cheat, chisel, chouse, con, cozen, defraud, diddle, do, do in, euchre, fiddle, fleece, gaff, gyp, hose [slang], hustle, mulct, nobble [British slang], pluck, ream, rip off, rook, screw, shake down, short, shortchange, skin, skunk, squeeze, stick, stiff, sting, sucker, swindle, thimblerig, victimize
Related Wordsextort, wrench, wrest, wring; clip, gouge, nick, overcharge, soak; exploit, milk; deceive, dupe, fool, gull, trick; rope (in); betray, bitch, double-cross; bamboozle, fast-talk
FLIMFLAM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of flimflam for English Language Learners
: to trick (someone) in order to steal money
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