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

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

Damage assessments were scanty during the night because of darkness and poor communications, but federal officials said power had been knocked out in some spots and there were early reports of flimsy structures with tin roofs sustaining damage. Marco Ugarte, The Seattle Times, "Hurricane Willa moves inland after hitting Mexico coast," 23 Oct. 2018 But evidence of an actual plot against the Indonesian state appears flimsy. Stephen Wright, Fox News, "Polish globe-trotter blunders into Indonesia-Papua conflict," 24 Sep. 2018 Anyway, Oculus Quest duplicates the more rigid straps of the Rift proper, which is a huge improvement over Go’s flimsy elastic. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "The $399 Oculus Quest is a premium VR headset with no wires—and no PC required," 26 Sep. 2018 Basic pumpkin carving sets are a bit flimsy but work great for kids. Popular Mechanics, "How to Carve a Pumpkin Like a Pro," 31 Aug. 2018 So long, flimsy plastic trays: The meals are also served in courses, on sleek—albeit, still plastic—white tableware. Katherine Lagrave, Condé Nast Traveler, "Delta Is Testing Out 3-Course Meals in Economy," 1 Aug. 2018 The Trump administration had used the possibility of a court immediately terminating DACA in response to such a lawsuit from Paxton as the justification for ending the program altogether -- a justification the federal judge in DC found flimsy. Tal Kopan, CNN, "7 states sue to end DACA, potentially jumbling its legal future," 1 May 2018 But without a late play for Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn, the Phillies have a flimsy rotation, and the Marlins’ could be even worse. Tyler Kepner, New York Times, "Big Benefit for the Opportunistic Mets: Their Division Looks Weak," 21 Feb. 2018 Hundreds of Palestinians stormed a flimsy fence that runs along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel on Friday, setting parts of the barrier on fire. Noga Tarnopolsky, latimes.com, "Palestinian protesters breach Israel-Gaza border fence; 3 killed, hundreds injured in clashes," 27 Apr. 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.

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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

6 Dec 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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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

Comments on flimsy

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a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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