\ 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

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 The house itself is almost arrestingly unfancy, frumpy even. Rob Haskell, Vogue, "Billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer on Impeaching Trump, Getting Out the Vote, and Winning in 2020," 14 Nov. 2018 The furnishings may be frumpy, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing: those beefy, round-cornered dressers designed for hotel use are practically tip-proof. Sara Clemence, Town & Country, "A Five-Star Hotel Room Almost Killed My Child," 6 June 2017 From the pilot to the finale, her cardigans were perfectly worn in, the jeans were distressed just so, and the coats were oversize without looking frumpy or sad. Mekita Rivas, Glamour, "20 Years Later, Felicity Is Still The Ultimate Fall Fashion Lookbook," 28 Sep. 2018 When these companies don’t collaborate with disabled people, the clothes often look frumpy and unflattering, purely functional with no consideration for fashion. Edward Lampley, Teen Vogue, "What It's Like to Be a Disabled Model in the Fashion Industry," 5 Sep. 2018 So as not to appear frumpy, make sure the sweater doesn't overwhelm your frame. The Editors, Marie Claire, "Easy Mix-and-Match Outfit Ideas for Fall," 4 Sep. 2018 For decades, when not effervescing over royal weddings and births, the tabloids have castigated the royals as lazy, frumpy, dissipated or self-indulgent. Ellen Barry, New York Times, "Britain’s Wedding-Mad Tabloids Feel a Cold Royal Shoulder," 1 May 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

The first known use of frumpy was circa 1840

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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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showing courage and determination

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