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frivolous

[friv-uh-luh s]
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adjective
  1. characterized by lack of seriousness or sense: frivolous conduct.
  2. self-indulgently carefree; unconcerned about or lacking any serious purpose.
  3. (of a person) given to trifling or undue levity: a frivolous, empty-headed person.
  4. of little or no weight, worth, or importance; not worthy of serious notice: a frivolous suggestion.

Origin of frivolous

1425–75; late Middle English < Latin frīvolus worthless, trifling; see -ous
Related formsfriv·o·lous·ly, adverbfriv·o·lous·ness, nounun·friv·o·lous, adjectiveun·friv·o·lous·ly, adverbun·friv·o·lous·ness, noun
Can be confusedfrivolity frivolousness

Synonyms

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3. idle, silly, foolish, childish, puerile. 4. light, trifling, petty, paltry, trivial, flimsy.

Antonyms

3. serious. 4. weighty.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for frivolousness

Historical Examples

  • Unconsciously he made Thea pay for frivolousness of this sort.

    Song of the Lark

    Willa Cather

  • Frivolousness never goes away from the royal Presence rich with surprises of grace.

  • It is better far because our seriousness comes back to dwell with us; and our frivolousness does the same.

    The Bible and Life

    Edwin Holt Hughes

  • The question whether a spice of frivolousness may not be a safeguard has often risen before me.

  • He had that contempt for all dallying and toying and lightness and frivolousness that hard, serious workers always have.

    Fresh Fields

    John Burroughs


British Dictionary definitions for frivolousness

frivolous

adjective
  1. not serious or sensible in content, attitude, or behaviour; sillya frivolous remark
  2. unworthy of serious or sensible treatment; unimportantfrivolous details
Derived Formsfrivolously, adverbfrivolousness or 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

Word Origin and History for frivolousness

frivolous

adj.

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