Definition of flippant in English:



  • Not showing a serious or respectful attitude.

    ‘a flippant remark’
    • ‘For a minute, I saw a smirk rise to his lips, and I thought he'd make some flippant remark.’
    • ‘In the end the flippant attitude to the lack of car parking will have disastrous consequences for businesses in Skipton.’
    • ‘James Mason was not a man prone to wild hyperbole or flippant remarks.’
    • ‘Even Owen, usually with such a flippant attitude about everything, had raised his eyebrows.’
    • ‘Zach flailed against the cuffs, his rage escalating at her flippant attitude.’
    • ‘Groucho Marx's flippant remark about the inability of any photograph to capture his inner beauty is profoundly insightful.’
    • ‘The latter two chapter titles are too flippant for the serious situations they describe.’
    • ‘However, I do not wish to address all of contemporary arts with my flippant remarks.’
    • ‘Millar is no stranger to the flippant remark, and he does not specify exactly what he might deliver.’
    • ‘Now I have to go and intimidate Mr Mills for a while as payback for his flippant remark.’
    • ‘Though it may seem flippant to say so, she's certainly damaged enough to be a star.’
    • ‘My boss was very supportive and saw the same flippant attitude I did when she spoke to them.’
    • ‘Behind the flippant name hides a serious message about religious ignorance.’
    • ‘Lyle believes there are effective ways to put across a serious message without being flippant.’
    • ‘I could wear Armani suits and make flippant remarks in the House of Commons.’
    • ‘When I'm with her, I feel like it's okay to be studious or stupid, serious or flippant.’
    • ‘Shaidanna rolled her eyes, suddenly realizing where Galen had picked up his flippant attitude.’
    • ‘He was irritated by Rob's flippant comments and attitude and wondered why Rob continued to bait him.’
    • ‘This flippant remark pinpoints an essential truth: Mae West was a woman who lived as if she were a man.’
    • ‘For some, his work is too dark to be humorous, for others it is too flippant to be serious.’
    frivolous, superficial, shallow, glib, thoughtless, carefree, irresponsible, insouciant, offhand
    View synonyms


Early 17th century: from flip + -ant, perhaps on the pattern of heraldic terms such as couchant and rampant. Early senses included ‘nimble’ and ‘talkative’, hence ‘playful’, giving rise to the current use ‘lacking seriousness’.