flirt

verb
\ 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

flirt

noun

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

Verb

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

Synonyms for flirt

Synonyms: Verb

coquet (or coquette), dally, frivol, mess around, toy, trifle

Synonyms: Noun

flirter, wanton

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Choose the Right Synonym for flirt

Verb

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

Verb

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

Noun

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

The county flirted with the idea of creating a public defender’s office last year — two-full time attorneys would serve as public defenders. Jerzy Shedlock, The Seattle Times, "‘This is not OK’: Clark County Indigent Defense Office needs more attorneys for serious, time-consuming cases," 27 Nov. 2018 As architects dream up of more timber high rises, Oregon’s new regulation could guide other states flirting with mass timber to embrace the material. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "The state is the first in the U.S. to legalize mass timber high rises," 21 Aug. 2018 The key to an amazing relationship is never stop flirting with your partner. NBC News, "How to put the spark back in your marriage, according to a dating coach," 26 June 2018 But energy stocks have also been hit hard during the continuing oil-price rout, with shares down 23% since the start of October and flirting with their worst quarter in a decade. Amrith Ramkumar, WSJ, "A Forgettable Year for Energy Stocks Takes Another Turn Lower," 20 Dec. 2018 Becca and Garrett romp, frolic, flirt and recreate that one scene from From Here To Eternity while a cameraman zooms in on their hands touching PG-13 style. Melissa Locker, Time, "The Bachelorette Recap: Becca Hopes That Love Will Find Her in the Bahamas," 10 July 2018 The birthplace of Fascism, Italy gave the world Mussolini, flirted seriously with communism, and, in electing Silvio Berlusconi, provided a playbook for billionaires seeking power the world over. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "This Italian Town Once Welcomed Migrants. Now, It’s a Symbol for Right-Wing Politics," 7 July 2018 What to know: Another 2019 recruit who has publicly flirted with reclassifying to 2018, Lecque is the most recent player to pick up a UK scholarship offer. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Here's a look at Kentucky basketball's 2019 recruiting targets," 29 June 2018 Dirt roads lead past understated $2 million cottages toward exquisite beaches, where multilingual South Americans and Europeans flirt and play paddleball and discuss their 11 p.m. dinner reservations. Christopher Bagley, Condé Nast Traveler, "Alan Faena Creates La Vie Bohème in José Ignacio, Uruguay," 18 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Many in Italy, where Fiat and the Agnelli family are loathed and loved, interpreted the GM flirt as a first step to the family abandoning FCA. Eric Sylvers, WSJ, "Sergio Marchionne’s Death Thrusts Agnelli Heir Into Spotlight," 25 July 2018 As the light fades, the ambient temperature flirts with freezing. Daniel Otis, Sunset, "Awe-Inspiring Canadian Rockies Camping Adventure," 22 Jan. 2018 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, refinery29.com, "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

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

Verb

1580, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Noun

circa 1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for flirt

Verb and Noun

origin unknown

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Learn More about flirt

Dictionary Entries near flirt

flip-up

FLIR

flird

flirt

flirtable

flirtatious

flirt-gill

Statistics for flirt

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for flirt

The first known use of flirt was in 1580

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More Definitions for flirt

flirt

verb

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

flirt

noun

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

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

flirt

verb
\ ˈflərt \
flirted; flirting

Kids Definition of flirt

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to show a romantic interest in someone just for fun

flirt

noun

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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someone who never drinks alcohol

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