\ 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 Look at it this way: Ohio State flirted with dominance, lost three fumbles for the first time since 2009, and still won by 11. George Schroeder, USA TODAY, "No. 2 Ohio State clinches Big Ten East title with defeat of No. 9 Penn State," 24 Nov. 2019 Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the ex-New York City mayor, is openly flirting with a bid — though neither will be onstage Wednesday. Anchorage Daily News, "Buttigieg’s rise positions him as top target at 5th debate," 21 Nov. 2019 Swift flirted with a non-country sound on her previous album Red, but in 1989 her roots were finally nowhere to be found: Gone were the guitars and twang of old, here are the synths and sing-speaking of the new Taylor. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 100 Greatest Albums of the 2010s: Staff Picks," 19 Nov. 2019 Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the ex-New York City mayor, is openly flirting with a bid — though neither will be onstage Wednesday. Bill Barrow And Will Weissert,, "Pete Buttigieg may face sharp criticism at Democratic presidential debate after surge in polls," 18 Nov. 2019 But Bloomberg is now once again flirting with a run, filing last week to get on the ballot in Alabama’s presidential primary., "Billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is another candidate with," 12 Nov. 2019 There are several thousand members of the #Yanggang milling around, talking, flirting, debating, and, by the scent of it, taking advantage of California’s liberal herbal policies. Wired, "Andrew Yang Is Not Full of Shit," 5 Nov. 2019 Trump flirted with that idea but never approved it. Washington Post, "Trump’s Rust Belt revival is fading. Will it matter in 2020?," 30 Oct. 2019 Some history American labor law flirted with the concept of sector bargaining in the 1930s, before the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 made enterprise bargaining the norm. John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, "UAW workers would benefit from dramatically different kind of bargaining," 19 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 With its relaxed bearing and easy tunefulness, Mr. Tyler’s album flirts with music that is devoid of tension and too pretty—in the 1980s, a less discerning record clerk might have filed this one in the New Age section. Mark Richardson, WSJ, "‘Goes West’ by William Tyler Review: Music History in Modern Melody," 23 Jan. 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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Time Traveler for flirt

Time Traveler

The first known use of flirt was in 1580

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Statistics for flirt

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Flirt.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 5 December 2019.

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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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