[ friv-uh-luhs ]
See synonyms for: frivolousfrivolouslyfrivolousness on

  1. characterized by lack of seriousness or sense: frivolous conduct.

  2. self-indulgently carefree; unconcerned about or lacking any serious purpose.

  1. (of a person) given to trifling or undue levity: a frivolous, empty-headed person.

  2. of little or no weight, worth, or importance; not worthy of serious notice: a frivolous suggestion.

Origin of frivolous

First recorded in 1425–75; late Middle English, from Latin frīvolus “worthless, trifling”; see -ous

Other words for frivolous

Opposites for frivolous

Other words from frivolous

  • friv·o·lous·ly, adverb
  • friv·o·lous·ness, noun
  • un·friv·o·lous, adjective
  • un·friv·o·lous·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with frivolous Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use frivolous in a sentence

  • He had that contempt for all dallying and toying and lightness and frivolousness that hard, serious workers always have.

    Fresh Fields | John Burroughs
  • Leave frivolousness to women, whose minds are only large enough for domestic difficulties.

    The Big Bow Mystery | I. Zangwill
  • He glowered down such frivolousness and proceeded with his cross-examination.

  • The child is made to suffer for its mothers frivolousness, weakness or poverty.

    Woman and Socialism | August Bebel
  • Unconsciously he made Thea pay for frivolousness of this sort.

    Song of the Lark | Willa Cather

British Dictionary definitions for frivolous


/ (ˈfrɪvələs) /

  1. not serious or sensible in content, attitude, or behaviour; silly: a frivolous remark

  2. unworthy of serious or sensible treatment; unimportant: frivolous details

Origin of frivolous

C15: from Latin frīvolus silly, worthless

Derived forms of frivolous

  • frivolously, adverb
  • frivolousness or frivolity (frɪˈvɒlɪtɪ), 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