dal·​li·​ance | \ˈda-lē-ən(t)s \

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

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 Computers, tablets, and smartphones absorb adulterous evidence like a sponge, and once suspicions are aroused, tech can offer many clues about a potential dalliance. Kim Komando, Fox News, "8 clever ways that tech can reveal a cheating spouse," 15 Sep. 2018 Consequently, McCain’s dalliance with political reform ended up having little practical impact. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "John McCain, who died at 81, explained," 26 Aug. 2018 Ai Weiwei, maker of conceptual art and public sculptures, has had dalliances with architecture in the past. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Ai Weiwei’s first U.S. building is an artful block of concrete," 9 Oct. 2018 The statement didn't once mention Zack Snyder's live-action Watchmen film from 2009 (nor HBO's brief dalliance with having Snyder try his hand at a TV version years later). Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "HBO picks up Watchmen live-action TV series, will debut in 2019," 17 Aug. 2018 Here are some of Trump's more interesting dalliances with pop music. Travis M. Andrews, chicagotribune.com, "From Elton John to Eminem to Peggy Lee: Trump's bizarre history with pop music," 11 July 2018 However, the dalliance with spring is a fleeting one, as another Arctic front enters early Saturday with midwinter chill back in full force for much of next week. David Streit, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Rain accompanies our two-day warm up; Arctic air regains control this weekend," 11 Jan. 2018 Kopech’s brief dalliance with disappointment quiets the chorus of anyone clamoring for his promotion. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "No need to rush Michael Kopech to majors, rebuild is worth the wait," 19 June 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

1 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

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

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Comments on dalliance

What made you want to look up dalliance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make faulty or ineffective

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