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

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Other Words from flimsy


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

Synonyms & Antonyms for flimsy

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The case that comes with the AirPods Max is flimsy and lacks real protection. Mark Gurman, Bloomberg.com, "Apple's $549 AirPods Max Headphones Offer Big Sound and Bugs: Review," 23 Dec. 2020 With polls predicting a blue-wave election that never materialized, predictions that seemed certain before the election now seem flimsy in the wake of it. Matt Perault, WSJ, "Big Tech and Antitrust: A Path Forward," 16 Dec. 2020 Times art critic Christopher Knight, who has been closely following the effort, called it a flimsy excuse. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, "Essential Arts: The Beethoven effect and a music critic’s recommendations for what to hear now," 19 Dec. 2020 But the damage inflicted upon her neurological system was like a freight train tearing through flimsy cardboard cutouts. oregonlive, "COVID-19 hijacked my mom’s brain and didn’t want to give it back: Sheila Hamilton," 19 Dec. 2020 Their flimsy lime green leaves rocket from the soil in every direction; these soft beginnings will eventually become the sharp bayonets of mature trees raised to the southern Californian sun. Miles W. Griffis, Vogue, "Joshua Tree National Park Is More Popular Than Ever—But Its Namesake Trees Are Facing Extinction," 18 Dec. 2020 The lawsuit against Facebook by the Federal Trade Commission and 48 states is another in a long list of flimsy suits or threats here and abroad against cash-rich tech companies. WSJ, "Slow Down the Campaign Against Facebook," 18 Dec. 2020 Dallas was missing three cornerbacks Tuesday night, but that’s a flimsy excuse when this game was all about Baltimore pushing the defensive line out of the way and guessing which linebacker would be caught out position on any particular play. Tim Cowlishaw, Dallas News, "Easy Money: How the Cowboys’ defense continued to scrape rock bottom in loss to Ravens," 8 Dec. 2020 Encountering the Patriots late in two of the past three seasons, the Chargers looked worn down, even flimsy on defense. Tom Krasovic, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Belichick has exposed Telesco-Spanos flaws, not just Lynn’s," 7 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Before anyone had a chance to digest the flimsy-at-best basis for many of the pardons, Trump unexpectedly made another announcement. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Trump Directs His Wrecking Ball at the COVID-19 Relief Bill and Mitch McConnell," 23 Dec. 2020 Especially if such a loss keeps the Buckeyes out of the Big Ten championship game, there may be no path back into the championship conversation with a schedule this flimsy. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football should not worry about playing catch-up in playoff race: College football Monday Madness," 21 Sep. 2020 On-ear headphones have come a long way since their flimsy, ‘80s-style Walkman days. Benjamin Levin, CNN Underscored, "The best on-ear headphones of 2020," 2 Sep. 2020 The prosecutor has called for the harsh sentence despite Mr. Aksakoglu’s insistence that the charges are baseless and the evidence flimsy. New York Times, "He Observed a Protest. Now He Faces a Possible Life Sentence.," 14 Feb. 2020 Yet apart from Britain and a few countries that lived under its imperial rule, the Great British plug is spurned for flimsy, sometimes dangerous two-prong affairs. The Economist, "Charlemagne The parable of the plug," 6 Feb. 2020 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

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.

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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)

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Time Traveler for flimsy

Time Traveler

The first known use of flimsy was circa 1702

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Statistics for flimsy

Last Updated

12 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flimsy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flimsy. Accessed 22 Jan. 2021.

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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

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