flac·​cid ˈfla-səd How to pronounce flaccid (audio)
ˈflak-səd How to pronounce flaccid (audio)
: not firm or stiff
also : lacking normal or youthful firmness
flaccid muscles
of a plant part : deficient in turgor
: lacking vigor or force
flaccid leadership
flaccidity noun
flaccidly adverb

Example Sentences

Virgil Thomson, in his review of the evening, called the libretto "flaccid and spineless," but that is unfair. It is a witty piece of writing. J. D. McClatchy, New Republic, 29 Nov. 1993
Her hands are long and slim, delicate, as Dorothy's were; her handshake is flaccid, her smile is sweet but unconvincing. Richard Bausch, Esquire, August 1990
Half must have been, of course, men and women over fifty and their bodies reflected the pull of their character … many a man had a flaccid paunch … Norman Mailer, Harper's, November 1968
the flaccid stalks of celery that had been around for far too long
Recent Examples on the Web Kentucky should act robustly and lead the way in both hemp and cannabis, not remain flaccid and impotent with its prohibition. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, 26 Oct. 2022 Critics on the right, like philosopher Allan Bloom, once complained about the flaccid relativism of progressives who preached tolerance as the highest virtue. Michael S. Roth, Washington Post, 27 Apr. 2023 The success of the sustained right-wing backlash against Roe is less an indictment of the decision itself than of the flaccid, hand-wringing, extremely Democratic Party response to the backlash by some of the liberals who might have been expected to be Roe’s staunchest defenders. Jessica Winter, The New Yorker, 25 June 2022 This seems to lie at the heart of a flaccid, unmotivated interview that expresses its unclear reason for existing in just letting Sullivan talk: CBS News, like many newsrooms, seems afraid or allowing the Sullivans of the world to claim that they are being silenced. Daniel D'addario, Variety, 15 Nov. 2021 My hackles were flaccid. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Mar. 2023 One side of the winger’s face had fallen flaccid. Kevin Paul Dupont, BostonGlobe.com, 7 Jan. 2023 Pleasure Ridge Park would love to play spoiler before the playoffs, but the Panthers have been notoriously flaccid against Louisville's best, with losses to St. Xavier (11-1) and Fern Creek (15-1). J.l. Kirven, The Courier-Journal, 9 May 2022 The food looks flaccid. Jhumpa Lahiri, The New Yorker, 8 Feb. 2021 See More

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

Word History


Latin flaccidus, from flaccus flabby

First Known Use

1620, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of flaccid was in 1620

Dictionary Entries Near flaccid

Cite this Entry

“Flaccid.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flaccid. Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


: not firm or stiff

Medical Definition


: not firm or stiff
also : lacking normal or youthful firmness
flaccid muscles
flaccidity noun
plural flaccidities

More from Merriam-Webster on flaccid

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