\ 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 The 2007 Patriots flirted with matching the perfection of the '72 Dolphins but lost to the Giants in the Super Bowl and finished 18-1. CBS News, "Don Shula, legendary Miami Dolphins head coach, has died at age 90," 4 May 2020 For both of those reasons, the number of Sanders voters flirting with a third party in California almost surely exceeds the share in most other states. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, "Joe Biden’s burden: Persuading young voters," 1 May 2020 In the animal world, it's called ... stink flirting. Aj Willingham, CNN, "All The Good Stuff that happened this week," 18 Apr. 2020 Portland will get another clear, warm day with high temperatures flirting with the 70s. oregonlive, "Portland metro Tuesday weather: Sunny with highs reaching toward 70," 14 Apr. 2020 By Thursday, temperatures are expected to rebound into the 60s, Johnston said By the weekend, temperatures could be above normal, with highs flirting with the 70s. Dallas News, "Cold front could bring a few snow flurries to Dallas-Fort Worth, drop lows into the 30s," 25 Feb. 2020 SAA Group, the airline’s parent company, owns low-cost carrier Mango, which has flirted with profitability, as well as SAA Technical, the continent’s largest aircraft maintenance and repair business. Brian Browdie, Quartz Africa, "South African Airways may be grounded for good," 21 Apr. 2020 Samarkand’s ancient relics flirt with the possibility of a modern future. Brandon Presser, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Visit Uzbekistan, A Country Undergoing a Tourism Renaissance," 24 Feb. 2020 Already weakened beyond recognition, Sultan Abdul Hamid II briefly flirted with the idea of constitutional monarchy before changing course in the late 1870s. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Why the Ottoman Empire rose and fell," 6 Dec. 2019 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.

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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

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flirt.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 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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