dal·​li·​ance ˈda-lē-ən(t)s How to pronounce dalliance (audio)
: an act of dallying: such as
: play
especially : amorous play
had dalliances with several women before getting married
: frivolous action : trifling
had a brief dalliance with acting

Examples of dalliance in a Sentence

an extremely serious scientist who is not much given to dalliance or idle chitchat
Recent Examples on the Web Twice before, Musk has spoken with Netanyahu at the height of controversies over his dalliances with antisemitism — once in June after tweets about the Jewish financier George Soros, and again in September amid Musk’s feud with the ADL. Will Oremus, Washington Post, 29 Nov. 2023 But here, sale culture isn’t a once-a-year dalliance with affordability. Dave Schilling, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2023 Yet despite dalliances with every lady(part) on the island, including the general’s lusty wife, Clytemnestra (Cindy Cheung), Horne is forlorn. Sara Holdren, Vulture, 31 Oct. 2023 But the sport’s dalliance with Saudi Arabia is not the first time in recent memory that the Women’s Tennis Association has confronted a similar ethical dilemma. The Politics Of Everything, The New Republic, 27 Sep. 2023 There are flashes of inspiration: The re-enactment of Orlando and Sasha’s passionate dalliance is arresting, with close-ups revealing the performer cast as Sasha. Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Oct. 2023 Kristin Cavallari is getting real about a tipsy dalliance with Southern Charm star Craig Conover. Kimberlee Speakman, Peoplemag, 13 Sep. 2023 And 2020 was just another gulf in what seemed to be a journeyman career, a forgettable gap between major league dalliances in 2018 and 2021. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 11 Apr. 2023 To fill out the scorecard, the felonious former president has rolled up a rap sheet: In New York, for allegedly falsifying business documents to hush up his extramarital dalliances. Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times, 15 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dalliance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of dalliance was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near dalliance

Cite this Entry

“Dalliance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dalliance. Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


dal·​li·​ance ˈdal-ē-ən(t)s How to pronounce dalliance (audio)
: play entry 1 sense 2
especially : the act of flirting
: action lacking in importance or seriousness
a short dalliance with politics

More from Merriam-Webster on dalliance

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