flippant

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

1595, from Northern English dialectal flippand ‎(prattling, babbling, glib), present participle of flip ‎(to babble), of North Germanic 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.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

flippant ‎(comparative more flippant, superlative most flippant)

  1. (archaic) glib; speaking with ease and rapidity
    • Barrow
      It 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.
    • Burke
      a sort of flippant, vain discourse
    • 1998, Sylvia Brownrigg, The Metaphysical Touch
      The 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, 2000
      In 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 147
      Our society treats smoking flippantly as a slightly distasteful habit that can injure your health. It is not. It is drug addiction.

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French[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

flippant m (feminine singular flippante, masculine plural flippants, feminine plural flippantes)

  1. (Europe, informal) Surprising.
  2. (Europe, informal) Worrying; scary.

Verb[edit]

flippant

  1. present participle of flipper

External links[edit]