dal·​li·​ance | \ ˈda-lē-ən(t)s How to pronounce dalliance (audio) \

Definition of dalliance

: an act of dallying: such as
a : play especially : amorous play had dalliances with several women before getting married
b : frivolous action : trifling had a brief dalliance with acting

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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

Her baby, the result of a dalliance with Brad Pitt, was born April 19. Bradley J. Fikes, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Baby sloth enchants crowd at San Diego Zoo," 11 June 2019 Whispers of the possible dalliance surfaced at Sudler-Smith’s mother Patricia Altschul’s dinner party during the season’s premiere. Diane J. Cho, PEOPLE.com, "The Southern Charm Cast Then & Now," 6 June 2019 Prior to its dalliance in zone, Toronto began the second half by switching more to contain Curry, having largely either trapped him or met him at the level of the screen in the first half. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "When It Comes to Defenses, Stephen Curry Has Seen It All," 4 June 2019 Demonstrative public dalliance is perfectly acceptable on the streets of Paris. Jay Mcinerney, Vogue, "Why, Oh Why Do I Love Paris? Jay McInerney Counted the Ways in a 1986 Story for Vogue, Republished Here in Solidarity With the French Capital, Where Notre-Dame Burned," 16 Apr. 2019 Jeffress is far from the only evangelical leader to give Trump a pass on extramarital dalliances. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Trump-allied pastor: Reagan was a womanizer, too," 23 July 2018 Some bags are serious investments, and others are fleeting dalliances. Tina Craig, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Shop for Vintage Bags," 5 Aug. 2015 His stormy dalliances with decades-younger women didn’t slow down either, sometimes making headlines, as when a girlfriend said Monroe, then 77, beat her with a Bible. Eddie Dean, WSJ, "‘Bill Monroe’ and ‘Blue Grass Generation’ Review: The Blue Grass Boy," 27 Sep. 2018 Save for my occasional dalliances with the nostalgic glass bottle and sage green packaging, its contents never seemed to dwindle. Celia Ellenberg, Vogue, "This Iconic Moisturizer Just Got a Major Upgrade—And It’s a Game Changer," 13 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'dalliance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of dalliance

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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Dictionary Entries near dalliance

Dallas grass




Dallis grass


Dall sheep

Statistics for dalliance

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for dalliance

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

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English Language Learners Definition of dalliance

: an action that is not serious
literary : a romantic or sexual relationship that is brief and not serious

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showing courage and determination

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