adjective, flab·bi·er, flab·bi·est.

hanging loosely or limply, as flesh or muscles; flaccid.
having such flesh.
lacking strength or determination.

Origin of flabby

1690–1700; apparently expressive alteration of earlier flappy, with same sense; see flap, -y1; compare late Middle English flabband (attested once), evidently with sense “flapping”
Related formsflab·bi·ly, adverbflab·bi·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for flabbiness

Contemporary Examples of flabbiness

Historical Examples of flabbiness

  • For it is not your action that revolts me; it is your apathy, your flabbiness, your cowardice!

    The Choice of Life

    Georgette Leblanc

  • Some of them softer to the point of flabbiness; some harder both of body and soul.


    Dallas McCord Reynolds

  • There was not about him any sign that you could see of flabbiness or weediness.

    The Combined Maze

    May Sinclair

  • Among them (he intimated) his flabbiness might not excite remark.

    The Combined Maze

    May Sinclair

  • But even Ranny hesitated to call it flabbiness in so fine a man.

    The Combined Maze

    May Sinclair

British Dictionary definitions for flabbiness


adjective -bier or -biest

lacking firmness; loose or yieldingflabby muscles
having flabby flesh, esp through being overweight
lacking vitality; weak; ineffectual
Derived Formsflabbily, adverbflabbiness, noun

Word Origin for flabby

C17: alteration of flappy, from flap + -y 1; compare Dutch flabbe drooping lip
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 flabbiness



1690s, variant of flappy, which is recorded in the sense of "softly fleshy" from 1590s; see flap. Related: Flabbily; flabbiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper