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verb (used without object), co·quet·ted, co·quet·ting.
  1. to try to attract the attention and admiration of men for mere self-gratification; flirt.
  2. to act without seriousness; trifle; dally.
  1. coquettish.
  1. Obsolete. a male flirt.

Origin of coquet

1685–95; < French; literally, cockerel, equivalent to coq cock + -et -et


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1. dally, tease.


  1. a woman who flirts lightheartedly with men to win their admiration and affection; flirt.
verb (used without object)
  1. to coquet.

Origin of coquette

1605–15; < French, feminine of coquet
Related formsco·quet·tish, adjective
Can be confusedcoquette croquet croquette


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1. tease, vamp.

Usage note

See -ette.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for coquetting

Historical Examples

  • A sharp suspicion crossed the doctor's mind that she was coquetting with him.

    Hetty's Strange History


  • It was he who would flay her for coquetting with the liberator.

  • I, first of all, saw that Castelka was coquetting with Kopovski.

    Children of the Soil

    Henryk Sienkiewicz

  • I used to hear her coquetting and threatening to be late, if he wasn't 'good'—ugh!

    Sonia Married

    Stephen McKenna

  • A number of birds were about her, whistling and coquetting with each other.

    The Fair God

    Lew Wallace

British Dictionary definitions for coquetting


verb -quets, -quetting or -quetted (intr)
  1. to behave flirtatiously
  2. to dally or trifle

Word Origin

C17: from French: a gallant, literally: a little cock, from coq cock


  1. a woman who flirts
  2. any hummingbird of the genus Lophornis, esp the crested Brazilian species L. magnifica
Derived Formscoquettish, adjectivecoquettishly, adverbcoquettishness, noun

Word Origin

C17: from French, feminine of coquet
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for coquetting



1660s, from French fem. of coquet (male) "flirt" (see coquet).



"amorous, flirtatious person," 1690s, originally of both sexes (as it was in French), from French coquet (17c.), diminutive of coq "cock" (see cock (n.1)). A figurative reference to its strut or its lust. The distinction of fem. coquette began c.1700, and use in reference to males has faded out since.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper