\ˈflərt \
flirted; flirting; flirts

Definition of flirt 

(Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to move erratically : flit butterflies flirting among the flowers

2a : to behave amorously without serious intent He flirts with every attractive woman he meets.

b : to show superficial or casual interest or liking flirted with the idea also : experiment a novelist flirting with poetry

3 : to come close to reaching or experiencing something used with with flirting with disaster

transitive verb

1 : flick They flirt water at each other's faces.

2 : to move in a jerky manner a bird flirting its tail



Definition of flirt (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of flirting

2 : a person who flirts

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Other Words from flirt


flirtation \ˌflər-ˈtā-shən \ noun
flirter noun
flirty \ˈflər-tē \ adjective

Synonyms for flirt

Synonyms: Verb

dance, dart, flick, flicker, flit, flitter, flutter, zip

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Choose the Right Synonym for flirt


trifle, toy, dally, flirt, coquet mean to deal with or act toward without serious purpose. trifle may imply playfulness, unconcern, indulgent contempt. to trifle with a lover's feelings toy implies acting without full attention or serious exertion of one's powers. a political novice toying with great issues dally suggests indulging in thoughts or plans merely as an amusement. dallying with the idea of building a boat someday flirt implies an interest or attention that soon passes to another object. flirted with one fashionable ism after another coquet implies attracting interest or admiration without serious intention. companies that coquet with environmentalism solely for public relations

Examples of flirt in a Sentence


They were flirting all night. the servers at that restaurant flirt with all the customers


he's just a harmless flirt, so don't take him seriously
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Miami’s decision-makers flirted with taking that journey, but didn’t take a young quarterback during the 2018 NFL draft. Omar Kelly,, "Kelly: A verdict on Ryan Tannehill is overdue | Commentary," 26 June 2018 In recent years, India, Ethiopia, Iraq and Uzbekistan have also shut down the internet to stop online questions and answers leaks, and Egyptian lawmakers flirted with the idea in 2016. Nour Youssef, New York Times, "Algeria’s Answer to Cheating on School Exams: Turn Off the Internet," 21 June 2018 Three times, the pair flirted with taking each other out, even kissing wheels on one occasion. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Dear Team: We’re Sorry We Crashed Our $15 Million F1 Cars," 1 May 2018 And investors are far from the only Americans flirting with a panic attack this morning. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Cheers on Trade War With China As Stocks Tumble," 4 Apr. 2018 The 24-year-old former world No. 1 flirted with victory at the Houston Open three years ago, losing out to J.B Holmes, but ultimately going on to win golf's most coveted prize a few days later in Augusta. Henry Young, CNN, "Ian Poulter fights back for first PGA Tour strokeplay win to clinch Masters spot," 2 Apr. 2018 George Burch: Somewhat the same pretty much – flirting back and forth with each other. Erin Moriarty, CBS News, "The Fitbit Alibi: 21st century technology used to help solve Wisconsin mom's murder," 24 Mar. 2018 Across Russia for the last month, fans (and journalists) have used translation apps for everything: asking for directions, chatting with taxi drivers, getting slightly nerve-racking haircuts, checking into hotels, making friends, even flirting. Rory Smith, New York Times, "The Google Translate World Cup," 13 July 2018 Prince Harry probably jokingly told him to stop flirting with his lady. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kids Couldn't Keep Their Hands Off of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry in Ireland," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Personals, while ostensibly functioning as a way to meet future partners, also works as a support network where people show up simply to encourage people's posts and trade flirts. Angela Watercutter, WIRED, "Could a Text-Based Dating App Change Selfie-Swiping Culture?," 10 July 2018 In one scene, Diego courts Luciana (Lola Dueñas), a flirt in a preposterous wig worthy of Marie Antoinette. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Zama,’ Trying to Say Goodbye (Cruel) New World," 12 Apr. 2018 Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas' Instagram flirt-fest continues. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Priyanka Chopra Can't Stop Leaving Flirty Comments on Nick Jonas' Instagram and We Are Here For It," 7 June 2018 From beloved internet celebs (like Chrissy Tiegen, coming in at 19) and bears (in both 20th and 8th place), there are plenty of options for getting your flirt on. Marshall Bright,, "The 20 GIFs Most Likely To Get You A Response On Tinder," 15 Mar. 2018 Since 2009, New York City’s annual bus ridership has plunged by almost 11 percent, even as the city’s population booms and its overcrowded subway flirts with collapse. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "NYC Is Redesigning Its Ancient, Ponderous, and Unpopular Bus System," 24 Apr. 2018 Flown flirts with trying to pull off too many ideas, but the ride-the-lightning guitar talents of Corey Standifer and crackerjack drumming of Jacob Kozlowski are undeniable. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Record Store Day acts set off musical fireworks at Indianapolis shops," 22 Apr. 2018 Torres is a flirt, and something of a sucker for a good accent, and flirts with Giles throughout the second episode. Michaela Bechler, Vogue, "Netflix Announces Another Season of Nailed It!—Here’s Why You Should Binge-Watch the First," 26 Mar. 2018 Or even just a flirty-flirt that has one sour note in it. Katie Kilkenny, Billboard, "Barry Diller Weighs in on #MeToo Movement: 'All Men Are Guilty'," 24 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flirt.' 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 flirt


1580, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


circa 1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for flirt


origin unknown


see flirt entry 1

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Statistics for flirt

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flirt

The first known use of flirt was in 1580

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More Definitions for flirt



English Language Learners Definition of flirt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to behave in a way that shows a sexual attraction for someone but is not meant to be taken seriously

: to think about something or become involved in something in a way that is usually not very serious

: to come close to reaching or experiencing something



English Language Learners Definition of flirt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who enjoys flirting with other people : a flirtatious person


\ˈflərt \
flirted; flirting

Kids Definition of flirt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to show a romantic interest in someone just for fun



Kids Definition of flirt (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person who flirts a lot

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More from Merriam-Webster on flirt

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for flirt

Spanish Central: Translation of flirt

Nglish: Translation of flirt for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of flirt for Arabic Speakers

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