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[flab-ee] /ˈflæb i/
adjective, flabbier, flabbiest.
hanging loosely or limply, as flesh or muscles; flaccid.
having such flesh.
lacking strength or determination.
Origin of flabby
late Middle English
1690-1700; apparently expressive alteration of earlier flappy, with same sense; see flap, -y1; compare late Middle English flabband (attested once), evidently with sense “flapping”
Related forms
flabbily, adverb
flabbiness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for flabby
  • They tend to lack a swim bladder, however, and they have weak bones and flabby muscles.
  • Palpation shows loss of deep fascia or muscle substance, or soft flabby muscles in wound area.
  • As their fat is depleted, the humps become floppy and flabby.
  • Cropping can avoid showing certain parts of your body, such as a flabby stomach or blemishes.
  • On the bright side, your flabby willpower means open weight machines for other gym members.
  • Untempered chocolate will be flabby and rubbery, refusing to snap when you break it.
  • Nothing bounces around, so the sound stays tight and never gets flabby.
  • The firm, in its third generation of family ownership, has grown flabby.
  • The notion of escape from a flabby land in search of keener sensations, including fear, is old.
  • Americans shelled out tens of millions of dollars last year on various devices to firm up their flabby midriffs.
British Dictionary definitions for flabby


adjective -bier, -biest
lacking firmness; loose or yielding: flabby muscles
having flabby flesh, esp through being overweight
lacking vitality; weak; ineffectual
Derived Forms
flabbily, adverb
flabbiness, noun
Word Origin
C17: alteration of flappy, from flap + -y1; compare Dutch flabbe drooping lip
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
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Word Origin and History for flabby

1690s, variant of flappy, which is recorded in the sense of "softly fleshy" from 1590s; see flap. Related: Flabbily; flabbiness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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