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.

Nearby words

  1. flightless,
  2. flightworthy,
  3. flighty,
  4. flim,
  5. flim-flam,
  6. flimsy,
  7. flinch,
  8. flinders,
  9. flinders bar,
  10. flinders grass

Origin of flimflam

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

Related formsflim·flam·mer, nounflim·flam·mer·y, noun

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for flimflammery



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

verb -flams, -flamming or -flammed

(tr) to deceive; trick; swindle; cheat
Derived Formsflimflammer, 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