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Origin uncertain. First used in the 18th century. Perhaps a metathesis of film +‎ -s +‎ -y; or related to flimflam.


  • IPA(key): /ˈflɪmzi/
  • (file)


flimsy (comparative flimsier or more flimsy, superlative flimsiest or most flimsy)

  1. Likely to bend or break under pressure.
    Synonyms: weak, shaky, flexible, fragile
    Antonyms: robust, strong, sturdy
    He expected the flimsy structure to collapse at any moment.
    • Sheridan
      All the flimsy furniture of a country miss's brain.
  2. (figuratively) Weak; ill-founded.
    Synonyms: weak, feeble, unconvincing
    Antonyms: well-founded, substantiated
    a flimsy excuse



flimsy (plural flimsies)

  1. Thin typing paper used to make multiple copies.
    • 1977, John Le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy, Folio Society 2010, p. 251:
      Smiley peered once more at the flimsy which he still clutched in his pudgy hand.
  2. (informal, in the plural) Skimpy underwear.
    • 2007 October 25, Ruth La Ferla, “Now It’s Nobody’s Secret”, in New York Times[1]:
      Choosing lingerie “is about what makes you look good, but also what looks good with or through your clothing,” said Monica Mitro, a spokeswoman for Victoria’s Secret, the brand that catapulted racy flimsies into the public eye.
  3. (slang) A banknote.