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[fruhm-pee] /ˈfrʌm pi/
adjective, frumpier, frumpiest.
Origin of frumpy
First recorded in 1740-50; frump + -y1
Related forms
frumpily, adverb
frumpiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for frumpy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She is frumpy enough for anything; and you call that an engagement?

    The Heart of Una Sackville Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
  • This is my grumpy, frumpy story, and we'll keep it to ourselves, Trot!'

    David Copperfield Charles Dickens
  • If she had been a stiff, frumpy thing, I just couldn't have paid the least attention to her.

    Brenda's Ward Helen Leah Reed
  • She has never ceased to talk about the frumpy crowd she met there.

    Contrary Mary

    Temple Bailey
  • "Do you know, I really liked her better last year, when she was frumpy and dowdy," faltered Dopsy.

    Mount Royal, Volume 3 of 3 Mary Elizabeth Braddon
British Dictionary definitions for frumpy


(of a woman, clothes, etc) dowdy, drab, or unattractive
Derived Forms
frumpily, frumpishly, adverb
frumpiness, frumpishness, noun
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 frumpy

1746, "cross-tempered," from frump (n.) "bad temper" (1660s) and an earlier verb meaning "to mock, browbeat" (1550s), of obscure origin, perhaps imitative of a sneer or derisive snort. Sense of "sour-looking, unfashionable" is from 1825, but this may be a shortening of frumple "to wrinkle, crumple" (late 14c.), from Middle Dutch verrompelen, from ver- "completely" + rompelen "to rumple." Related: Frumps. Cf. also frump.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for frumpy



Dowdy; run-down; unattractive: The message is that soft frumpy fellows are not only lovable but sexually attractive (1845+)

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