foo·​tling | \ ˈfü-tᵊl-iŋ How to pronounce footling (audio) , ˈfüt-liŋ\

Definition of footling

1 : lacking judgment or ability : inept footling amateurs who understand nothing— E. R. Bentley
2 : lacking use or value : trivial footling matters

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Examples of footling in a Sentence

the assistant's job was to shield the president from such footling problems

Recent Examples on the Web

By comparison with previous Establishment Clause cases, however, this lawsuit looked footling and rather mean. Barton Swaim, WSJ, "The Turnabout on Religious Freedom," 21 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'footling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of footling

1888, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for footling


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Statistics for footling

Last Updated

27 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for footling

The first known use of footling was in 1888

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More from Merriam-Webster on footling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for footling

Comments on footling

What made you want to look up footling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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