flippant

play
adjective flip·pant \ˈfli-pənt\

Definition of flippant

  1. 1 archaic :  glib, talkative

  2. 2 :  lacking proper respect or seriousness

flippantly

adverb

flippant was our Word of the Day on 09/12/2016. Hear the podcast!

Examples of flippant in a sentence

  1. As far as he was concerned, we were an unforgivably flippant bunch. Louche. Our shared political stance … struck him as pathetically naive. —Mordecai Richler, GQ, November 1997

  2. … although she is neither solemn nor pontifical, she may be the least flippant advice columnist in the business. —Ray Olson, Booklist, 1 May 1991

  3. Despite its flippant name, the Greed Index has proven a remarkably prescient barometer of the market during the past 16 years. —Richard E. Rustin, Wall Street Journal, 29 May 1984

  4. He made a flippant response to a serious question.

  5. his flippant comment that the poor save on taxes offended many people

Did You Know?

Flippant did something of a flip-flop shortly after it appeared in English in the late 16th century. The word was probably created from the verb flip, which in turn may have originated as an imitation of the sound of something flipping. The earliest senses of the adjective were "nimble" and "limber." One could be flippant not only on one's feet, but also in speech—that is, someone flippant might have a capacity for easy, flowing speech. Such flippancy was considered a good thing at first. But people who speak freely and easily can sometimes seem too talkative, and even impertinent. By the end of the 18th century, the positive sense of flippant had slipped from use, and the "disrespectful" sense had taken its place.

Origin and Etymology of flippant

probably from 1flip —see 1flip


First Known Use: 1599


FLIPPANT Defined for English Language Learners

flippant

play
adjective flip·pant \ˈfli-pənt\

Definition of flippant for English Language Learners

  • : lacking proper respect or seriousness


FLIPPANT Defined for Kids

flippant

play
adjective flip·pant \ˈfli-pənt\

Definition of flippant for Students

  1. :  not respectful or serious a flippant response

flippantly

adverb


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