1. A girl or woman regarded as dull, plain, or unfashionable.
2. A person regarded as colorless and primly sedate.
[Possibly short for Middle English frumple, wrinkle, from Middle Dutch verrompelen, to wrinkle : ver-, completely; see per1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + rompelen, to wrinkle.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.