Definition of flummery in US English:



  • 1Empty compliments; nonsense.

    ‘she hated the flummery of public relations’
    • ‘It's not just the flummery - the full-bottomed wigs, men walking backwards and so on - but the way this exercise in constitutional theatre is playing to the wrong audience.’
    • ‘However, this salutary concern can slide into a sense that outcome is the only true reality and that process is flummery.’
    • ‘The scam-artists delight in reaching back for ancient ideas, particularly those that bear some real value, and then they distort it all into flummery - which as we know, sells exceedingly well.’
    • ‘It's a fairly meaningless, if archaic piece of self-indulgent flummery in most parts of Australia.’
    • ‘Royal charters must wither and perish along with the few remaining aspects of pomp, dignity and flummery.’
    • ‘They call for a relationship with the centre which is rational and transparent; they make the flummery of a monarch which claims to be the glue which sticks us together all the more ridiculous.’
    • ‘Maybe the flummery and camp of our political institutions and our enthusiastic approval of layering and posturing have helped us to achieve our multiculturalism.’
    • ‘It's fitting and proper and prudent for both the politicians and the media to wonder whether all the finagling and flummery is worth it, just for another pro team, of which we've already got at least a few.’
    • ‘Getting rid of judges' wigs and tights, and the flummery and confusion surrounding the Lord Chancellor's role, appeals to the party's modernising instincts.’
    • ‘All this flummery was, as we all know, meaningless.’
    • ‘Behind all the flummery there lie, nonetheless, some serious political issues.’
    • ‘The dismal mumblings of everyday business in the House of Commons, the creaking pomposity of the Lords, the ghastly flummery of the state opening (Black Rod and all that) are overlooked.’
    • ‘Essentially, the whole country goes nuts for a week or two, until, as usual, we are vanquished with all the flummery of a re-enactment of 1066.’
    • ‘The Oh Mercy chapter explores a career crisis of the late 80s and includes several pages of musicological flummery about ‘a style of playing based on an odd instead of even numbered system’.’
    • ‘Relationships must therefore be fully acknowledged and open, without public relations flummery.’
    • ‘No amount of folderol, flummery or flattery makes it easier to swallow.’
    • ‘It seems that the ceremony costs around £1 million each year, and some MPs are getting fed up with this ‘ridiculous piece of flummery.’’
    • ‘In any case, Howard's discovery was a timely one, because he has just flimmed and flammed his way through the longest week of flummery of his career.’
    • ‘It's just a human machine for getting news out and subject to the normal vicissitudes of human flummery.’
    • ‘Strip away the constitutional flummery and you're left with a governing party stating what it's going to do in the upcoming parliament.’
  • 2A sweet dish made with beaten eggs, milk, sugar, and flavorings.

    • ‘Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip and fill each chocolate teardrop with flummery batter.’


Early 17th century (denoting a dish made with oatmeal or wheatmeal boiled to a jelly): from Welsh llymru; perhaps related to llymrig ‘soft, slippery’.