1595, from Northern English dialectal flippand ("prattling, babbling, glib"), present participle of flip ("to babble"), of gmq origin. Pronunciation
  • (America, British) IPA: /ˈflɪ.pənt/


  1. (archaic) glib; speaking with ease and rapidity
    • 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.
    • 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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