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

Synonyms & Antonyms for flimsy

Synonyms: Adjective

cobwebby, filmy, frothy, gauzy, gossamer, gossamery, insubstantial, sleazy, unsubstantial

Antonyms: Adjective

sturdy, substantial

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Examples of flimsy in a Sentence


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

Bread that’s too flimsy — like your standard supermarket hamburger bun — won’t stand up to the saucy filling. Simran Singh, The Mercury News, "Quick Cook: Sensational Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches," 29 June 2019 Reviewers say that sturdy for the most part, but warn that the hands are a little flimsy. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "Drop everything—Wayfair is having a massive 72-hour clearance sale," 15 June 2019 For High Country News, Ethan Linck examines the complex, often flimsy relationship between outdoor recreation and conservation efforts. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Does Outdoor Recreation Correlate With Environmental Values?," 18 May 2018 Previous SlideNext Slide For starters, G:KotM wastes no time testing your patience with flimsy plot devices. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Godzilla: King of the Monsters," 31 May 2019 Other offices have stricter rules, where denim and flimsy tops are a no-go. Glamour, "8 Perfect Casual-Friday Outfits to Wear All Summer Long," 30 May 2019 Majestic gorges were crossed on casually strung, flimsy bamboo suspension bridges that wobble like jelly in strong winds. Amrit Dhillon, The Seattle Times, "Poll workers journey to reach India’s most remote voters," 14 Apr. 2019 Human-rights groups say people are often charged on flimsy or concocted evidence, with non-Muslims disproportionately targeted, though Muslims too are prosecuted under the laws. Saeed Shah, WSJ, "Pakistani Woman Acquitted of Blasphemy Is Caught in Legal Limbo," 12 Nov. 2018 Its lawyers have argued that the lawsuit is flimsy and politically motivated. Jim Mustian, The Seattle Times, "Trump declares victory now but legal perils far from over," 25 Mar. 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for flimsy

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flimsy

The first known use of flimsy was circa 1702

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More Definitions for flimsy



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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More from Merriam-Webster on flimsy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flimsy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flimsy

Spanish Central: Translation of flimsy

Nglish: Translation of flimsy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flimsy for Arabic Speakers

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