: lacking in character or determination : ineffectual
wishy-washy leadership
: lacking in strength or flavor : weak
wishy-washy wines
wishy-washiness noun

Examples of wishy-washy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The movie is choppy, uninvolving and thematically wishy-washy, giving you very little reason to care about its numbingly verbose characters even when their lives are under threat. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Sep. 2023 Standard twin-tube dampers do a commendable job in corners, allowing just a bit of lean without feeling wishy-washy. Andrew Krok, Car and Driver, 6 Sep. 2023 Lack of consistency: Nothing is worse than a non-consistent, wishy-washy person who can’t keep commitments or their word. Dominique Fluker, Essence, 8 Aug. 2023 Chapek’s original wishy-washy response to anti-LGBTQ legislation in the state allowed GOP politicians to gain power in the clash. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, 11 July 2023 The wishy-washy, unfocused nature of the comedy in Jury Duty leaves it without purpose, without target and, most unfortunately, without direction. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Apr. 2023 His wishy-washy approach didn’t sit well on either side of the argument. Allison Morrow, CNN, 4 Apr. 2023 See More

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

Word History


reduplication of washy

First Known Use

1703, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of wishy-washy was in 1703

Dictionary Entries Near wishy-washy

Cite this Entry

“Wishy-washy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wishy-washy. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: lacking spirit, courage, or determination : weak
wishy-washy leadership

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