\ ˈfrəm-pē How to pronounce frumpy (audio) \
frumpier; frumpiest

Definition of frumpy

: dowdy, drab: such as
a : dressed in an unattractive way He's a frumpy dresser. That can't be Madonna playing a frumpy '30s-era missionary.— Peter Travers
b 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

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Other Words from frumpy

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 At a distance, and at a glance, people will often misread their clothes as frumpy. Robin Givhan, Washington Post, "Their testimony was pointed. Their clothes were reassuringly dull.," 21 Nov. 2019 The bird catcher Papageno (the hearty baritone Rodion Pogossov, in an endearing performance) has the look of Buster Keaton, with a floppy cap and a frumpy forest-green suit. New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Magic Flute,’ Mozart Meets Nosferatu," 18 July 2019 Kardashian West knotted her top at the back for added shape—a clever styling trick to take a top from frumpy to form-fitting. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Kim Kardashian West Slithers Into a Daring Pair of Flared Pants," 3 Dec. 2019 Gone were the frumpy commuter shoes of my past; anything with laces was shoved to the back of my closet and reserved for actual physical activity such as workouts or hiking. Rebecca Shinners,, "These Are The Most Comfortable Slip-on Sneakers I’ve Ever Worn—and They’re Ridiculously Cute, Too," 27 Sep. 2019 Hospitals were somewhat frumpy, primarily community servants rather than businesses. Jeffrey M. Drazen,, "How drug ads drive up health care costs," 13 Aug. 2019 Here’s the thing: When done right, this unlikely pairing is anything but baggy and frumpy. Vogue, "Do You Dare to Wear a Dress Over Pants? Here’s How to Do It Right," 17 Apr. 2019 And women candidates have to strike an incredibly tricky balance in the public eye: being confident without being boastful, being stylish without being either too garish or too frumpy, and appearing strong without being overbearing. Ella Nilsen, Vox, "“Likability” ratings in a recent New Hampshire poll show just how tough female candidates have it," 23 July 2019 The guy was dressed frumpy that first visit, a baggy three-button suit. Steven Kurutz, New York Times, "The Last Great Clothing Store," 29 Mar. 2018

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

circa 1840, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for frumpy

Time Traveler

The first known use of frumpy was circa 1840

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Statistics for frumpy

Last Updated

13 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Frumpy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for frumpy


How to pronounce frumpy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of frumpy

: dressed in an unattractive way also, of clothing : old and unattractive

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More from Merriam-Webster on frumpy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with frumpy

Spanish Central: Translation of frumpy

Nglish: Translation of frumpy for Spanish Speakers

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