\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Jenkins’ benchmark is not the only record Ibarra’s clients have flirted with this season. Matt Williams, Dallas News, "Big fish story: Local guide has a knack for finding whoppers," 14 Mar. 2020 In Asia and Europe, some of the biggest financial exchanges flirted with or crossed into bear market territory — a decline of more than 20 percent from their highs. Jeanne Smialeand Alexandra Stevenson,, "Stocks climb as investors look to Washington," 10 Mar. 2020 Gabe is equally hulking but more suited for flirting with his wife and telling embarrassing dad jokes than sparring with his doppelgänger. Ineye Komonibo,, "How Spenser Confidential‘s Winston Duke Is Defying Hollywood Stereotypes," 9 Mar. 2020 Equally tumultuous, yields on U.S. Treasury plummeted to their lowest level…ever, briefly flirting with 0.3% on the U.S. 10-year before recovering somewhat. Zachary Karabell, Time, "The Coronavirus Won’t Be an Economic Catastrophe — Unless We Let it Become One," 9 Mar. 2020 On Tuesday afternoon, as the Dow Jones industrial average flirted with its second-straight 1000-point drop, Azar held a news conference on that struck a markedly less concerned tone about the virus’s impact on the United States. Josh Dawsey, Washington Post, "White House struggles to contain public alarm over coronavirus despite panic," 25 Feb. 2020 There’s mild flirting between her and an ex-girlfriend, and a flashback of when the two of them were dating, and a few scenes of them rehashing their past. Jill Gutowitz, Teen Vogue, ""High Fidelity" and What LGBTQ Representation Should Look Like," 20 Feb. 2020 That stretch — games against Kentucky, Arkansas, LSU and rival Alabama — would help provide the demarcation for Auburn between being a good team and being a very good team, a line that the Tigers have flirted with throughout the 2019-20 campaign. Tom Green |, al, "Auburn strengthens NCAA Tournament resume and its own mettle after ‘moving week’ gauntlet," 13 Feb. 2020 Europe and Japan are flirting with recession while China and India had been losing growth momentum.’’ Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, suggested that the European Central Bank has little ability to counteract a recession. Washington Post, "Coronavirus poses tough challenge for economic policymakers," 25 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The two flirt between takes, sharing interest in the rapturous possibilities of pre-Christian theology. Yasmina Price, The New York Review of Books, "Kathleen Collins’s Ecstatic Self-Discovery," 29 Feb. 2020 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

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about flirt

Time Traveler for flirt

Time Traveler

The first known use of flirt was in 1580

See more words from the same year

Statistics for flirt

Last Updated

3 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flirt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on flirt

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!