Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[flim-zee] /ˈflɪm zi/
adjective, flimsier, flimsiest.
without material strength or solidity:
a flimsy fabric; a flimsy structure.
weak; inadequate; not effective or convincing:
a flimsy excuse.
noun, plural flimsies.
a thin kind of paper, especially for use in making several copies at a time of an article, telegraphic dispatch, or the like, as in newspaper work.
a copy of a report or dispatch on such paper.
Origin of flimsy
1695-1705; flim- (perhaps metathetic variant of film) + -sy
Related forms
flimsily, adverb
flimsiness, noun
1. shoddy, weak, unstable, unsteady. 2. unconvincing, lame, vague.
1. sturdy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for flimsy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The walls of the hut were made of a network of palm leaves and so flimsy that the beast could have burst through at a bound.

  • She took off her jacket and sat more at ease in her blouse, of some soft, flimsy silk.

    My Antonia Willa Cather
  • He had more than once smiled bitterly to himself at the consciousness of the flimsy bulwark; but he found it invaluable.

    Mercy Philbrick's Choice Helen Hunt Jackson
  • Their condemnations and suggestions are alike undignified, whirling and flimsy.

    Hilaire Belloc C. Creighton Mandell
  • But he had no confidence in the flimsy birch bark; so he got out his jackknife and bade Billy get out his.

    A Busy Year at the Old Squire's Charles Asbury Stephens
British Dictionary definitions for flimsy


adjective -sier, -siest
not strong or substantial; fragile: a flimsy building
light and thin: a flimsy dress
unconvincing or inadequate; weak: a flimsy excuse
thin paper used for making carbon copies of a letter, etc
a copy made on such paper
a slang word for banknote
Derived Forms
flimsily, adverb
flimsiness, noun
Word Origin
C17: of uncertain origin
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for flimsy

1702, of unknown origin, perhaps a metathesis of film (n.) "gauzy covering" + -y (2). Related: Flimsily; flimsiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for flimsy



A copy of a bill, artwork, etc, on thin paper (1857+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for flimsy

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for flimsy

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for flimsy