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[flip-uh nt] /ˈflɪp ənt/
frivolously disrespectful, shallow, or lacking in seriousness; characterized by levity:
The audience was shocked by his flippant remarks about patriotism.
Chiefly Dialect. nimble, limber, or pliant.
Archaic. glib; voluble.
Origin of flippant
1595-1605; apparently flip1 + -ant
Related forms
flippancy, flippantness, noun
flippantly, adverb
unflippant, adjective
unflippantly, adverb
1. saucy, impertinent, impudent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for flippancy
Historical Examples
  • She shot the thing at me with a manner suspiciously near to flippancy.

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • He felt angry with her for what seemed to him to be flippancy.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
  • Then he fell thoughtful, his tone lost its note of flippancy.

    The Lion's Skin Rafael Sabatini
  • To him, his art was too sacred to admit of any flippancy in discussing it.

    The Dominant Strain Anna Chapin Ray
  • Linton's flippancy, for the first time, was distasteful to Cashel.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • flippancy, like comedy, is but a matter of visual first impression.

    Tales Of Hearsay Joseph Conrad
  • He doesn't know a joke even when it's labelled and can't stand any flippancy.

    Left End Edwards Ralph Henry Barbour
  • There was an earnestness that robbed the question of any flippancy.

  • I rebuked him for his flippancy, but in the end I consented to take him.

    A Tale of Three Lions H. Rider Haggard
  • They mistake self-control for coldness, and despair for flippancy.

    Robert Orange John Oliver Hobbes
British Dictionary definitions for flippancy


marked by inappropriate levity; frivolous or offhand
impertinent; saucy
(obsolete) talkative or nimble
Derived Forms
flippancy, noun
flippantly, adverb
Word Origin
C17: perhaps from flip
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 flippancy

1746, from flippant + -cy.



c.1600, "talkative;" 1670s, "displaying unbecoming levity," apparently an extended form of flip (v.). Shortened form flip is attested from 1847. Related: Flippantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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