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From Latin frīvolus (silly, empty, trifling, frivolous, worthless).


  • IPA(key): /ˈfɹɪv.əl.əs/
  • Hyphenation: friv‧o‧lous
  • (file)


frivolous (comparative more frivolous, superlative most frivolous)

  1. Silly, especially at an inappropriate time or in an inappropriate manner.
  2. Of little weight or importance; not worth notice; slight.
  3. (law) In litigation, a lawsuit filed by a party who is aware the claim is without merit and has no reasonable prospect of success because of a lack of supporting legal or factual basis.
    • 1996 August 31, Paul F. Waldner, President-Elect, Houston Trial Lawyers Association, “Viewpoints”, in Houston Chroniclecitation:
      There is no easy definition for the phrase 'frivolous lawsuit,' but I imagine any claim for damages where the injuries are minimal or where the basis for the defendant's liability is hard to believe, might qualify as frivolous.
      One of the major cost drivers in the delivery of health care are these junk and frivolous lawsuits.

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