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

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 In the end, Trump was less concerned with how his dalliances play out in the court of public opinion (or a court of law for that matter), and more concerned with getting back on Daniel’s good side. Sarah Midkiff, refinery29.com, "Stormy Daniels Made A Surprise SNL Appearance...Along With Everyone Else," 6 May 2018 Which leaves one last reason private companies might consider a dalliance with public markets after decades where everyone seemed to be moving in the other direction. Evan Horowitz, BostonGlobe.com, "Public, private, now public again. Dell’s dance with investors makes sense," 2 July 2018 Audubon was born in the French colony of Les Cayes in what is now Haiti, the product of his father’s dalliance with a chambermaid. Jessica Gelt, latimes.com, "The $8 million Audubon book about birds, and the amazing story behind it," 31 May 2018 The maladjusted lothario also has many a dalliance with a particular strain of misogyny: the cutting and manipulative digs at past lovers that some of the rapper’s fans rush to freebase. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Cathartic Symphony of Future’s Beast Mode 2," 6 July 2018 Zookeepers cheered the result of Satka’s dalliance with Oskar earlier this year. Bradley J. Fikes, sandiegouniontribune.com, "For the Fourth, bring out the (San Diego Zoo) babies!," 3 July 2018 Tuesday afternoon, Beilein spoke on a number of topics, including his dalliance with the NBA. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball John Beilein finalizing rolling contract," 27 June 2018 The goal is clear: The less the public knows about his dalliance with a St. Louis woman, the better. The Kansas City Star Editorial Board, kansascity, "Missourians can’t trust Hawley investigation into Greitens’ use of text-destroying app," 19 Mar. 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

8 Sep 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).


one that holds something together

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