• Flippant


    • US IPA: /ˈflɪ.pÉ™nt/


    1595, from Northern English dialectal flippand ("prattling, babbling, glib"), present participle of flip ("to babble"), of origin. Cognate with Icelandic fleipa ("to babble, prattle"), Swedish dialectal flepa ("to talk nonsense"). Alteration of -and suffix (a variant of the participial -ing) to -ant probably due to influence of words in -ant.

    Full definition of flippant



    1. (archaic) glib; speaking with ease and rapidity
      • BarrowIt becometh good men, in such cases, to be flippant and free in their speech.
    2. (chiefly dialectal) nimble; limber.
    3. Showing disrespect through a casual attitude, levity, and a lack of due seriousness; pert.
      • Burkea sort of flippant, vain discourse
      • 1998, Sylvia Brownrigg, The Metaphysical TouchThe conversations had grown more adult over the years—she was less flippant, at least.
      • 2000, Anthony Howard and Jason Cowley, Decline and Fall, New Statesman, March 13, 2000In the mid-1950s we both wrote for the same weekly, where her contributions were a good deal more serious and less flippant than mine.
      • 2004, Allen Carr, The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, page 147Our society treats smoking flippantly as a slightly distasteful habit that can injure your health. It is not. It is drug addiction.



    Derived terms

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