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[flab-ee] /ˈflæb i/
adjective, flabbier, flabbiest.
hanging loosely or limply, as flesh or muscles; flaccid.
having such flesh.
lacking strength or determination.
Origin of flabby
late Middle English
1690-1700; apparently expressive alteration of earlier flappy, with same sense; see flap, -y1; compare late Middle English flabband (attested once), evidently with sense “flapping”
Related forms
flabbily, adverb
flabbiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for flabbiness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For it is not your action that revolts me; it is your apathy, your flabbiness, your cowardice!

    The Choice of Life

    Georgette Leblanc
  • Some of them softer to the point of flabbiness; some harder both of body and soul.

    Adaptation Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • There was not about him any sign that you could see of flabbiness or weediness.

    The Combined Maze May Sinclair
  • Among them (he intimated) his flabbiness might not excite remark.

    The Combined Maze May Sinclair
  • But even Ranny hesitated to call it flabbiness in so fine a man.

    The Combined Maze May Sinclair
  • The flabbiness of the people I met yesterday gives me all the more grounds for action.

    The Jewish State Theodor Herzl
  • I've been his friend for years; his flabbiness sticks out all over him.

    The Kingdom Round the Corner Coningsby Dawson
  • Neither charity of that sort nor flabbiness of belief is asked.

    Judges and Ruth Robert A. Watson
  • Your unused muscles remind you of the reason for their flabbiness.

British Dictionary definitions for flabbiness


adjective -bier, -biest
lacking firmness; loose or yielding: flabby muscles
having flabby flesh, esp through being overweight
lacking vitality; weak; ineffectual
Derived Forms
flabbily, adverb
flabbiness, noun
Word Origin
C17: alteration of flappy, from flap + -y1; compare Dutch flabbe drooping lip
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for flabbiness



1690s, variant of flappy, which is recorded in the sense of "softly fleshy" from 1590s; see flap. Related: Flabbily; flabbiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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