1 of 2


flirted; flirting; flirts

intransitive verb

: to move erratically : flit
butterflies flirting among the flowers
: to behave amorously without serious intent
He flirts with every attractive woman he meets.
: to show superficial or casual interest or liking
flirted with the idea
also : experiment
a novelist flirting with poetry
: to come close to reaching or experiencing something
used with with
flirting with disaster

transitive verb

: flick
They flirt water at each other's faces.
: to move in a jerky manner
a bird flirting its tail
flirtation noun
flirter noun
flirty adjective


2 of 2


: an act or instance of flirting
: a person who flirts
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

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
This will be the last day where temperatures flirt with 90 at least through the start of next week. oregonlive, 2 Sep. 2022 Voters sometimes flirt with independent candidates in the months and weeks leading up to an election, only to return to the party fold as November nears. The Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Oct. 2022 So there’s always fun ways to flirt with other other sub-genres of horror while keeping it in the slasher genre. Emily Longeretta, Variety, 18 Aug. 2022 Most would assume that men in high-status positions are more likely to flirt at work in an effort to achieve or assert dominance. Paolo Confino, Fortune, 22 Sep. 2022 Damian Lillard could finish top five in the MVP race, Jusuf Nurkic and Jerami Grant could flirt with All-Star seasons and Anfernee Simons could make fans forget all about CJ McCollum. oregonlive, 25 Sep. 2022 Daemon moves in to dance with Laena Velaryon, and the two seem to flirt. Josh St. Clair, Men's Health, 18 Sep. 2022 If enough rain bands move over downtown on Sunday, the official weather station for the city may flirt with the rainfall record of 2.02 inches for September 18, set back in 1959. Gerry Díaz, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Sep. 2022 Having nothing to prove, Miller can flirt with silliness and embrace idiosyncrasy. Mark Feeney,, 24 Aug. 2022
But that seemingly random kiss might become something more, as in this week's episode, the two flirt and Cole eventually asks Alex out on a date. Sydney Bucksbaum,, 15 Nov. 2022 The Horned Frogs flirt with disaster weekly and have defensive issues. Ralph D. Russo, Chicago Tribune, 2 Nov. 2022 The Horned Frogs flirt with disaster weekly and have some defensive issues. Ralph D. Russo, ajc, 2 Nov. 2022 In their initial meeting in their room, Graham, sprawled across her bed, uses her introduction as a way to both shock and flirt with Megan, setting the scene for something more. Time, 23 Sep. 2022 Charles thought Kate to be a shameless flirt; Kate thought Charles to be extravagantly jealous. April White,, 7 June 2022 Between the goddess and her nymphs, bathing in the sacred grotto, lives the premise of chastity even as the nymphs flirt in their eloquent poses. Claudia Rankine, Harper’s Magazine , 20 July 2022 Kevin, who shows more academic potential than his pals and likes to flirt, lives with his mother, Nina, her wife, Dre, and his sister, Keisha. Los Angeles Times, 7 July 2022 The two flirt over popsicles and steal kisses during late-night heart-to-hearts, while her lawyer fiancé (Raúl Castillo) is away. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 17 June 2022 See More

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.

Word History


Verb and Noun

origin unknown

First Known Use


1580, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


circa 1590, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of flirt was in 1580

Dictionary Entries Near flirt

Cite this Entry

“Flirt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

flirt 1 of 2


: to show a liking for someone of the opposite sex just for fun
: toy entry 2
flirted with the idea
flirtation noun
flirtatiousness noun


2 of 2


: an act or instance of flirting
: a person who flirts a lot

More from Merriam-Webster on flirt

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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