flim·​sy | \ ˈflim-zē How to pronounce flimsy (audio) \
flimsier; flimsiest

Definition of flimsy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : lacking in physical strength or substance flimsy silks wore a flimsy dress
b : of inferior materials and workmanship flimsy construction
2 : having little worth or plausibility a flimsy excuse a movie with a flimsy plot


plural flimsies

Definition of flimsy (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly British
: a lightweight paper used especially for multiple copies also : a document printed on flimsy

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from flimsy


flimsily \ ˈflim-​zə-​lē How to pronounce flimsily (audio) \ adverb
flimsiness \ ˈflim-​zē-​nəs How to pronounce flimsiness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for flimsy

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of flimsy in a Sentence

Adjective a flimsy piece of material They have only the flimsiest of evidence against him. a movie with a flimsy plot
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Brodkin described sleeping on a cement platform with a flimsy, torn blanket with no pillow, locked in the cell from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m. The light was on all night, and the fan made noise. Joaquin Palomino, SFChronicle.com, "Attorney, youth, public officials detail disturbing conditions in SF juvenile hall," 11 Sep. 2019 Despite some concerns that the justification was flimsy, the Costa Mesa Planning Commission agreed Monday that the city should make its ban on needle exchange programs permanent. Hillary Davis, latimes.com, "Costa Mesa Planning Commission backs making local needle exchange ban permanent," 9 July 2019 But the evidence against Golunov seemed so flimsy that even some staunchly pro-Kremlin television journalists rallied to his defense. Washington Post, "The outcry over a journalist’s arrest cuts to the heart of tensions in Putin’s Russia," 10 June 2019 The crust is a big player in that - crisp, not too heavy, not too flimsy. Matt Wake | Mwake@al.com, al, "The new fried chicken in Huntsville you have to try," 12 Sep. 2019 The device's all-metal design is quite sturdy: its palm rests don't feel flimsy, and its lid and chassis don't bend or give when force is applied. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: How to buy a Chromebook, plus our best picks," 7 Sep. 2019 Secondary The Lions overhauled their secondary this offseason after a flimsy showing in pass coverage in 2018. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' defense, special teams: What to expect from 2019 crew," 5 Sep. 2019 Across the country, in every state, Perot volunteers researched ballot access laws, organized teams to collect and verify signatures and did so with only the flimsiest of guidance from Perot's business headquarters in Dallas. Major Garrett, CBS News, "Analysis: What's missing from the Ross Perot obituaries," 11 July 2019 These are flimsy and unfair grounds to defeat a nominee. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Senate Judicial Miss," 19 July 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But the previous film had so much more actual plot than this one that by comparison, The Crimes of Grindelwald feels extra-flimsy and empty. Aja Romano, Vox, "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald feels like a giant prologue for some other movie," 17 Nov. 2018 But the foundation of season 3’s plot feels flimsy. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Season 3 of The Man in the High Castle doubles down on science fiction — and stumbles," 27 Sep. 2018 The government has accused lenders of knowingly extending loans to borrowers who couldn’t afford them, sometimes based on flimsy supporting documents. Emily Glazer, WSJ, "Wells Fargo Reaches $2.09 Billion Settlement Over Mortgage-Backed Securities," 1 Aug. 2018 Godinez's lawyer, Lawrence Hyman, has ridiculed the evidence in court as flimsy, noting the video didn’t even show that Godinez had a gun that night. Jason Meisner, chicagotribune.com, "Reputed gang member charged in shooting of ATF agent pleads not guilty," 22 May 2018 Even by Lake County standards, the case against him was weak, since it was based almost exclusively on his flimsy, and obviously coerced, confession. New York Times, "How a Racist Sheriff Railroaded a Disabled Teenager and Got Off," 3 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flimsy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of flimsy


circa 1702, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1814, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flimsy

Adjective and Noun

perhaps alteration of film entry 1 + -sy (as in tricksy)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about flimsy

Statistics for flimsy

Last Updated

25 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for flimsy

The first known use of flimsy was circa 1702

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for flimsy


How to pronounce flimsy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of flimsy

: easily broken, torn, etc. : not strong or solid
: not likely to be true or to be believed


flim·​sy | \ ˈflim-zē How to pronounce flimsy (audio) \
flimsier; flimsiest

Kids Definition of flimsy

: not strong or solid a flimsy cardboard box a flimsy excuse

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on flimsy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flimsy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flimsy

Spanish Central: Translation of flimsy

Nglish: Translation of flimsy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flimsy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on flimsy

What made you want to look up flimsy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a calculated move

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!