frivolously disrespectful, shallow, or lacking in seriousness; characterized by levity: The audience was shocked by his flippant remarks about patriotism.
Chiefly Dialect. nimble, limber, or pliant.
Archaic. glib; voluble.

Origin of flippant

1595–1605; apparently flip1 + -ant
Related formsflip·pan·cy, flip·pant·ness, nounflip·pant·ly, adverbun·flip·pant, adjectiveun·flip·pant·ly, adverb

Synonyms for flippant

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

Examples from the Web for flippancy

Historical Examples of flippancy

  • She shot the thing at me with a manner suspiciously near to flippancy.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • He felt angry with her for what seemed to him to be flippancy.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine

  • Then he fell thoughtful, his tone lost its note of flippancy.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • To him, his art was too sacred to admit of any flippancy in discussing it.

    The Dominant Strain

    Anna Chapin Ray

  • Linton's flippancy, for the first time, was distasteful to Cashel.

    Roland Cashel

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for flippancy



marked by inappropriate levity; frivolous or offhand
impertinent; saucy
obsolete talkative or nimble
Derived Formsflippancy, nounflippantly, adverb

Word Origin for flippant

C17: perhaps from flip
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 flippancy

1746, from flippant + -cy.



c.1600, "talkative;" 1670s, "displaying unbecoming levity," apparently an extended form of flip (v.). Shortened form flip is attested from 1847. Related: Flippantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper