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Avoid these words. Seriously.


[friv-uh-luh s] /ˈfrɪv ə ləs/
characterized by lack of seriousness or sense:
frivolous conduct.
self-indulgently carefree; unconcerned about or lacking any serious purpose.
(of a person) given to trifling or undue levity:
a frivolous, empty-headed person.
of little or no weight, worth, or importance; not worthy of serious notice:
a frivolous suggestion.
Origin of frivolous
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Latin frīvolus worthless, trifling; see -ous
Related forms
frivolously, adverb
frivolousness, noun
unfrivolous, adjective
unfrivolously, adverb
unfrivolousness, noun
Can be confused
frivolity, frivolousness.
3. idle, silly, foolish, childish, puerile. 4. light, trifling, petty, paltry, trivial, flimsy.
3. serious. 4. weighty. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for frivolously
Historical Examples
  • “Then you still would have a chance to marry each other,” I said frivolously.

  • Oh, but we mustn't talk so frivolously when that poor man may be dying.

  • You can take it as seriously or as frivolously as you please.

  • She thought her too fashionably dressed, frivolously gay and vain.

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • I know that you have plenty of money, but that is no reason why you should waste it so frivolously.

    Dear Enemy Jean Webster
  • Even the most frivolously inclined do not want to flirt in the morning.

    The Comings of Cousin Ann Emma Speed Sampson
  • Anyhow, the evening in question had passed innocently, if frivolously, enough.

    Nothing But the Truth Frederic S. Isham
  • "Oh, it's quite bad enough to see them," replied Colville frivolously.

    Indian Summer William D. Howells
  • At least that was decision, not frivolously reached; now perhaps he could rest.

    Wilderness of Spring Edgar Pangborn
  • "For which we should be devoutly grateful," says Olga, frivolously.

    Rossmoyne Unknown
British Dictionary definitions for frivolously


not serious or sensible in content, attitude, or behaviour; silly: a frivolous remark
unworthy of serious or sensible treatment; unimportant: frivolous details
Derived Forms
frivolously, adverb
frivolousness, frivolity (frɪˈvɒlɪtɪ) noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin frīvolus silly, worthless
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 frivolously



mid-15c., from Latin frivolus "silly, empty, trifling, worthless, brittle," diminutive of *frivos "broken, crumbled," from friare "break, rub away, crumble." Related: Frivolously; frivolousness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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