flim·sy | \ˈflim-zē \
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 \ adverb
flimsiness \ˈflim-zē-nəs \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for flimsy

Synonyms: Adjective

doubtful, dubious, far-fetched, improbable, questionable, unapt, unlikely

Antonyms: Adjective

likely, probable

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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

If Tesla can’t reverse that trend, the growth story that has captivated its bulls looks flimsier than ever. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Tesla’s Busy and Worrisome Week," 27 June 2018 The only flimsy motive would be what Wade said on a recent radio show about LeBron not making The Decision III based on purely basketball reasons. Dave Hyde, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Hyde: Chances for LeReturn this summer? Zero and none | Commentary," 12 June 2018 The aid group SOS Mediterranee's ship plucked 229 migrants from the sea or from flimsy dinghies in the Mediterranean on Saturday. Bloomberg.com, "Spain to Allow Boat Carrying 629 Migrants to Dock at Valencia," 11 June 2018 The migrants had been rescued from flimsy smugglers' boats in the Mediterranean during a series of operations Saturday by Italian maritime ships, cargo vessels, and the Aquarius itself. Nicole Winfield And Aritz Parra, The Christian Science Monitor, "Spain offers to accept migrant ship after Italy, Malta refuse," 11 June 2018 According to survivor accounts collected by the United Nations agency, smugglers had packed more than 150 people onto a flimsy rubber dinghy on the Libyan coast. Megan Specia, New York Times, "A Look Inside a Rescuer’s Struggle to Save Migrants from Sinking Dinghy," 8 Jan. 2018 Justifications for using charter flights were sometimes flimsy, the report concluded. Louise Radnofsky, WSJ, "HHS Watchdog Pushes to Recoup $341,000 Wasted by Ex-Secretary Price on Travel," 13 July 2018 The case that immediately comes to mind is Michael Morton’s, also in Texas: convicted on flimsy evidence because a conviction was needed at any cost. New York Times, "Readers Respond to the 6.3.18 Issue," 13 June 2018 The flimsy plot revolves around nefarious developers' plans to demolish the bar, while further complications are provided by Jarbas' former shipmates turning up in pursuit of unpaid debts. Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'My Own Private Hell' ('Inferninho'): Film Review | Rotterdam 2018," 31 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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


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


see flimsy entry 1

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Statistics for flimsy

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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 \
flimsier; flimsiest

Kids Definition of flimsy

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

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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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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