frumpier; frumpiest
: dowdy, drab: such as
: dressed in an unattractive way
He's a frumpy dresser.
That can't be Madonna playing a frumpy '30s-era missionary.Peter Travers
of clothing : not attractive : having an old, dull, unflattering, or untidy appearance
wore the same old frumpy sweater
… a dizzy mix of matronly frills, frumpy floral prints, and dotty dots …Flare
Frumpy shoes—those which forsake all suggestiveness in favor of comfort and mobility—are back.Misty White Sidell
Baggy pants, however, can add width and look frumpy.Christina Frank
frumpily adverb
frumpily dressed
frumpiness noun
Their hats are stained with sweat … and their clothes have an agreeable air of frumpiness. Cathy Horyn

Examples of frumpy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The fit hits the sweet spot: a flirty and fun length with full butt coverage (but not long enough to feel frumpy), and a snug and flattering width that still allows plenty of movement. Katherine Alex Beaven, Travel + Leisure, 31 Aug. 2023 The styles are often frumpy with oversized cups that peek out of U- or V-neck tops, and in a few cases, the support fell apart after a few wears and left me sagging. Dorian Smith-Garcia, Parents, 29 Aug. 2023 Truth be told, no one wants to appear frumpy in a high-stakes meeting. Hilary Tetenbaum, USA TODAY, 2 Sep. 2023 Levity’s dining chairs, benches, loungers and ottomans feature removable, machine-washable upholstery that’s tidier and more stylish than a frumpy slipcover. People Staff, Peoplemag, 19 July 2023 Shopping as a plus-size girlie is already challenging even on familiar territory — size-inclusive swimsuits are often frumpy and cover-ups mostly consist of matronly muumuus. Dominique Norman,, 6 July 2023 The key to ensuring your look is elegant and never frumpy is to pay close attention to proportions. Alexis Bennett, Vogue, 16 June 2023 Sweatpants are our new normal, but nuanced details separate frumpy loungewear from elevated Americana. Tina Chadha, Travel + Leisure, 11 Dec. 2021 Sarastro’s Masonic minions gather around a conference table in generic gray suits, Tamino heads off in pursuit of virtue wearing a white shirt and black pants, and Pamina does a lot of entreating in a frumpy white dress. Vulture, 23 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'frumpy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1840, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of frumpy was circa 1840

Dictionary Entries Near frumpy

Cite this Entry

“Frumpy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Oct. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on frumpy

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