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  1. a person who is dowdy, drab, and unattractive.
  2. a dull, old-fashioned person.

Origin of frump

First recorded in 1545–55; origin uncertain
Related formsfrump·ish, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for frump

Historical Examples

  • “The frump, as you call her, is usually a countess or a duchess,” with asperity.

    The Place of Honeymoons

    Harold MacGrath

  • Frump,—the word calls up the exact picture; frump and fatuity.

  • No one ever regained my favour by making a frump of herself.


    Edmund Gosse

  • Billings waved his hand to the frump as he mounted the stairway inside.

    The Haunted Pajamas

    Francis Perry Elliott

  • The frump now was to be worked off on me, and I was expected to stand for it.

    The Haunted Pajamas

    Francis Perry Elliott

British Dictionary definitions for frump


  1. a woman who is dowdy, drab, or unattractive

Word Origin

C16 (in the sense: to be sullen; C19: dowdy woman): from Middle Dutch verrompelen to wrinkle, rumple
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 frump


"cross, unstylish person" 1817, perhaps from frumple (v.) "to wrinkle" (late 14c.), from Middle Dutch verrompelen "to wrinkle" (see frumpy).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

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