petty; insignificant; trivial.
British Dialect. puny; weak; sickly.

Origin of pimping

First recorded in 1680–90; origin uncertain




a person, especially a man, who solicits customers for a prostitute or a brothel, usually in return for a share of the earnings; pander; procurer.
a despicable person.
Australia and New Zealand. an informer; stool pigeon.

verb (used without object)

to act as a pimp.

verb (used with object)

to act as a pimp for.
to exploit.

Origin of pimp

First recorded in 1630–40; origin uncertain
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for pimping

Contemporary Examples of pimping

Historical Examples of pimping

  • And I should not be the first that has procured his greatness by pimping.

  • They should not be pressed by "such a pimping vessel" as the Princess Augusta.

  • Convert the brave, honest officers of your navy into pimping tide-waiters and colony officers of the customs.

    Benjamin Franklin

    Frank Luther Mott

  • Amongst these was the worthy Mr. Trent, for whom he had often done business of the pimping vocation.


    Henry Fielding

  • The man had been useful in many dubious actions; in bribery, solicitation, pimping, as a useful and facile witness.

British Dictionary definitions for pimping




a man who solicits for a prostitute or brothel and lives off the earnings
a man who procures sexual gratification for another; procurer; pander


(intr) to act as a pimp
(tr) slang to adapt or embellish in an ostentatious manner

Word Origin for pimp

C17: of unknown origin




a spy or informer


(intr often foll by on) to inform (on)

Word Origin for pimp

of unknown origin
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 pimping



c.1600, of unknown origin, perhaps from Middle French pimpant "alluring in dress, seductive," present participle of pimper "to dress elegantly" (16c.), from Old French pimpelorer, pipelorer "decorate, color, beautify." Weekley suggests Middle French pimpreneau, defined in Cotgrave (1611) as "a knave, rascall, varlet, scoundrell," but Liberman is against this.

Judging by such recorded meanings of pimp as 'helper in mines; servant in logging camps,' this word was originally applied to boys and servants. [Liberman]

The word also means "informer, stool pigeon" in Australia and New Zealand and in South Africa, where by early 1960s it existed in Swahili form impimpsi. Pimpmobile first recorded 1973 (six years before Popemobile).

PIMP. A male procurer, or cock bawd; also a small faggot used about London for lighting fires, named from introducing the fire to the coals. ["Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence," London, 1811]



1630s (intransitive) "to act as a pimp," from pimp (n.). Related: Pimped; pimping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper