[ flim-flam ]
/ ˈflɪmˌflæm /


a trick or deception, especially a swindle or confidence game involving skillful persuasion or clever manipulation of the victim.
a piece of nonsense; twaddle; bosh.

verb (used with object), flim·flammed, flim·flam·ming.

to trick, deceive, swindle, or cheat: A fortuneteller flimflammed her out of her savings.


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Origin of flimflam

First recorded in 1530–40; gradational compound of expressive orig.


flim·flam·mer, nounflim·flam·mer·y, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for flimflam

  • I tried my darndest to flimflam the information out of him, but it was no use.

  • He saw that modern financial ingenuity has found a way to flimflam the devil himself.

    Yellowstone Nights|Herbert Quick
  • As long as there is plenty of flimflam to distract the viewer.

    Toy Shop|Henry Maxwell Dempsey
  • A flimflam offer by a theologian of inchoate title to improved real estate in the Sky for real estate, rentals and cash on Earth.

British Dictionary definitions for flimflam

/ (ˈflɪmˌflæm) informal /


  1. nonsense; foolishness
  2. (as modifier)flimflam arguments
a deception; swindle

verb -flams, -flamming or -flammed

(tr) to deceive; trick; swindle; cheat

Derived forms of flimflam

flimflammer, noun

Word Origin for flimflam

C16: probably of Scandinavian origin; compare Old Norse flīm mockery, Norwegian flire to giggle
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