as in to flirt
to show a sexual attraction for someone just for fun she spent the summer dallying with a guy renting the neighboring beach house

Synonyms & Similar Words


Synonym Chooser

How is the word dally different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of dally are dawdle, delay, lag, loiter, and procrastinate. While all these words mean "to move or act slowly so as to fall behind," dally suggests delay through trifling or vacillation when promptness is necessary.

stop dallying and get to work

When would delay be a good substitute for dally?

While in some cases nearly identical to dally, delay usually implies a putting off of something (such as a beginning or departure).

we cannot delay any longer

Where would lag be a reasonable alternative to dally?

Although the words lag and dally have much in common, lag implies failure to maintain a speed set by others.

lagging behind in technology

How do loiter and dawdle relate to one another, in the sense of dally?

Both loiter and dawdle imply delay while in progress, especially in walking, but dawdle more clearly suggests an aimless wasting of time.

loitered at several store windows
children dawdling on their way home from school

When can procrastinate be used instead of dally?

While the synonyms procrastinate and dally are close in meaning, procrastinate implies blameworthy delay especially through laziness or apathy.

procrastinates about making decisions


Thesaurus Entries Near dally

Cite this Entry

“Dally.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dally. Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

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