- without firm methods or policy; weak or indecisive: namby-pamby handling of juvenile offenders.
- lacking in character, directness, or moral or emotional strength: namby-pamby writing.
- weakly sentimental, pretentious, or affected; insipid.
noun, plural nam·by-pam·bies for 4.
- a namby-pamby person: written by and for namby-pambies.
- namby-pamby sentiment: the harmless namby-pamby of a birthday card.
- namby-pamby verse or prose.
- sentimental or prim in a weak insipid waynamby-pamby manners
- clinging, feeble, or spinelessa namby-pamby child
noun plural -bies
- a person who is namby-pamby
adj.“weakly sentimental, insipidly pretty,” 1745, from satiric nickname of English poet Ambrose Philips (1674-1749) mocking his sentimental pastorals addressed to infant members of the nobility. Used first in 1726 in a farce credited to Carey. Related: Namby-pambical.