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[flip-uh nt] /ˈflɪp ənt/
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 forms
flippancy, flippantness, noun
flippantly, adverb
unflippant, adjective
unflippantly, adverb
1. saucy, impertinent, impudent. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for flippancy
Historical Examples
  • But Gootes' flippancy reassured me no more than did the bare sunlit office behind the door.

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

    Ruggles of Red Gap Harry Leon Wilson
  • There was a flippancy in the way he spoke of that twenty thousand pounds which almost shocked her.

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

    Changing Winds St. John G. Ervine
  • "But of course they do talk about other things here," Alva continued, paying no attention to her friend's flippancy.

    In a Mysterious Way Anne Warner
  • Linton's flippancy, for the first time, was distasteful to Cashel.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • His flippancy and irreligion as he grew old alarmed the Comtesse de Gramont, who was very devout, for the safety of his soul.

    Court Beauties of Old Whitehall W. R. H. Trowbridge
  • flippancy, like comedy, is but a matter of visual first impression.

    Tales Of Hearsay Joseph Conrad
  • When she felt deeply on any subject her father's flippancy annoyed her.

    The Fruit of the Tree Edith Wharton
  • I rebuked him for his flippancy, but in the end I consented to take him.

    A Tale of Three Lions H. Rider Haggard
British Dictionary definitions for flippancy


marked by inappropriate levity; frivolous or offhand
impertinent; saucy
(obsolete) talkative or nimble
Derived Forms
flippancy, noun
flippantly, adverb
Word Origin
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
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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
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