fri·​vol·​i·​ty | \ fri-ˈvä-lə-tē How to pronounce frivolity (audio) \
plural frivolities

Definition of frivolity

1 : the quality or state of being frivolous He has no patience for frivolity.
2 : a frivolous act or thing He spends money on the latest fashions and other frivolities.

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Examples of frivolity in a Sentence

He has no patience for frivolity. He spends money on the latest fashions and other frivolities.
Recent Examples on the Web What could show greater conquest over fire than to tame it for this frivolity? Virginia Heffernan, Wired, "Something Was Wrong. My Nightgown Was in Flames," 10 Dec. 2020 Building a fountain is not an act of frivolity, Best contends. Cheryl Hall, Dallas News, "‘Every park needs a Nancy Best’: Philanthropist funding Dallas ‘super fountain’ doesn’t donate and walk away," 4 Dec. 2020 Thing is, the Michigan transfer is honing his game quite well, too, and don’t confuse his fun-loving ways for frivolity. Randy Johnson, Star Tribune, "At long last, college hockey is back in Minnesota," 19 Nov. 2020 But the very nature of the frivolity of Mardi Gras could make social distancing and mask-wearing difficult. al, "Mardi Gras parades raise coronavirus worries for Mobile police," 19 Nov. 2020 Women’s clothing and bodies have too often been subject to scrutiny by a patriarchal structure, and fashion is often dismissed as frivolity. Rachel King, Fortune, "Gift Guide: Books for everyone on your gift list," 6 Nov. 2020 Recreation has been banned, frivolity outlawed, until the curve is as flat as a half-empty Topo Chico left in the sun. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "Drive-thru Texas state fair: fried Oreos, yes. Baby animals, no.," 15 Oct. 2020 Pre-pandemic, these purchases might have been reasoned off the wish list due to impracticality or frivolity, but there’s no sense in holding back when the future is uncertain and happiness is in short supply. Emily Ruane,, "What Fashion People Bought Mid-Pandemic — & What They’re Getting For Fall," 28 Sep. 2020 CBS News' John Dickerson on the evolving nature of political conventions, and how, in 2020, a pandemic means the serendipity and boisterous frivolity of a political party will be quarantined. CBS News, "This week on "Sunday Morning" (August 16)," 13 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'frivolity.' 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 frivolity

1764, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for frivolity

see frivolous

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Time Traveler for frivolity

Time Traveler

The first known use of frivolity was in 1764

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Statistics for frivolity

Last Updated

21 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Frivolity.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for frivolity


How to pronounce frivolity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of frivolity

: a lack of seriousness : the quality or state of being silly or frivolous
: something that is unnecessary or silly


fri·​vol·​i·​ty | \ fri-ˈvä-lə-tē How to pronounce frivolity (audio) \
plural frivolities

Kids Definition of frivolity

: a lack of seriousness He treats school with frivolity.

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Comments on frivolity

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