\ ˈflərt How to pronounce flirt (audio) \
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 withflirting 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 How to pronounce flirtation (audio) \ noun
flirter noun
flirty \ ˈflər-​tē How to pronounce flirty (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for flirt

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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

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 Pfizer spent years flirting with breaking up its company, eventually spinning off Zoetis, the animal health firm, selling its baby formula business to Nestle, and partnering its consumer health business with that of GlaxoSmithKline. Matthew Herper, STAT, "Merck to spin off new $6.5 billion firm focused on women’s health, older drugs," 5 Feb. 2020 Iowa State: 27 Matt Campbell has turned Iowa State into a perennial bowl team and a threat to flirt with a Big 12 Championship Game berth. Scott Bell, Dallas News, "SportsDay’s way-too-early top 25: Clemson grabs No. 1 spot; 6 different area schools make cut, including SMU," 13 Jan. 2020 Younes was definite flirting with Kourtney and enthralled by her. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "The Kardashian/Jenner Sisters All Reunited With Their Ex-Boyfriends at Their Annual Christmas Party," 26 Dec. 2019 In the fourth quarter, Burrow threw two interceptions, which allowed Ole Miss to flirt with a potential comeback. Brett Shweky,, "Dolphins draft dreaming: Tagovailoa’s season-ending injury leaves future for him, other QBs in question," 18 Nov. 2019 As tourists groused about missing their photo ops, Mexicans continued to eat and talk and shop and flirt and laugh and just thoroughly enjoy life., "Patricia Harris for the Boston Globe," 17 Oct. 2019 There are tips for where to look, how to flirt, and what to wear. Maria Del Russo, Woman's Day, "How to Fall In Love, According to a Marriage Therapist," 26 Sep. 2019 Their collaboration encourages Rosarito to invite Aleteia to her cousin’s quinceanera, where Monica picks a fight, insulting Aleteia’s Salvadoran heritage and calling her out for flirting with Rosarito. Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter, "'La Leyenda Negra': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 28 Jan. 2020 Headed by John Malone, the media conglomerate already owns a small stake of iHeart and flirted with the idea last year of acquiring more to gain control of the company. cleveland, "Could iHeart layoffs be the beginning of local radio’s endgame?," 28 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As oil flirts with the prospect of decline, energy executives are at odds over what to do. Justin Worland, Time, "The Reason Fossil Fuel Companies Are Finally Reckoning With Climate Change," 16 Jan. 2020 After some flirt and pleas to take her out on a date, Faith finally obliged. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Faith Evans and Stevie J On Raising A Son With Autism," 8 Nov. 2019 The retro pop song is decorated with percussion-heavy flourishes and dressed in an airy illustration of longing for someone, as an interpretive dancer glides across an empty room with open windows and flirts with the fanning white curtains. Heran Mamo, Billboard, "A R I Z O N A Just Wants to Be 'Where You Are' in Their Latest Whimsical Video: Watch," 16 Oct. 2019 At best, the millennial sound flirts with escape and experimentation (Frank Ocean; Childish Gambino); much of it has a taste for shameless maximalism (Ariana Grande; Rihanna). Wired, "Generation Z Is Making Music With Anti-Radical Tones," 19 Sep. 2019 In a subsequent scene, when the girls’ school bus is stopped by British soldiers, one of them stares down the barrel of their machine guns — and flirts. Alice Jones, New York Times, "In ‘Derry Girls,’ the Lighter Side of Life in a Conflict Zone," 31 July 2019 Influenced by time spent living in Lisbon and traveling in Latin America and Europe, the music flirts between peppy, moody intrigue and unnecessarily grating detours. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, "The Paradox of Madonna’s Gun-Control Music Video," 3 July 2019 The visiting extraterrestrial flirts with her, praising her beauty, grinning at buddy boy H the whole time. Darren Franich,, "Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson reunite for eerily bland Men in Black: International: EW review," 12 June 2019 That’s unfortunate, since the movie flirts, and that is the word, with the idea of a romance between them. Mark Feeney,, "The men, and some women, are back in black," 12 June 2019

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

Verb and Noun

origin unknown

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Learn More about flirt

Time Traveler for flirt

Time Traveler

The first known use of flirt was in 1580

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Statistics for flirt

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flirt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for flirt


How to pronounce flirt (audio)

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 How to pronounce flirt (audio) \
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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