- to court triflingly or act amorously without serious intentions; play at love; coquet.
- to trifle or toy, as with an idea: She flirted with the notion of buying a sports car.
- to move with a jerk or jerks; dart about: butterflies flirting from flower to flower.
- to give a sudden or brisk motion to; wave smartly, as a fan.
- to throw or propel with a toss or jerk; fling suddenly.
- Also flirt·er. a person who is given to flirting.
- a quick throw or toss; sudden jerk or darting motion.
Origin of flirt
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for flirting
Accordingly, she walks up to Pratt and begins rapping her flirting in the terrifying cadence of Nicki Minaj.‘Saturday Night Live’ Review: The Ladies Steal the Show From Host Chris Pratt
September 28, 2014
Big companies are flirting with dumping high-cost employees off their private health plans onto Obamacare—legally.Hold On to Your Health Care
Kaiser Health News
May 7, 2014
Clode apparently took an Instagram video with the star, and tagged him, which allegedly set off a night of flirting.James Franco and More Celebrity Social Media Fails
April 5, 2014
Kate spends her days guzzling down beers and flirting with her coworker Luke (Jake Johnson).Olivia Wilde on ‘Drinking Buddies,’ Skinny-Dipping, Booze, and More
August 19, 2013
Jamie Dettmer recalls long lunches with the Iron Lady at the Savoy Hotel—the whisky, the flirting, and the strong-arm tactics.The Margaret Thatcher I Knew
April 9, 2013
But they might as well have been girls; there wasn't any flirting or nonsense of that sort, Paula.The Incomplete Amorist
Sometimes a man's unsuspicion is wiser, and Harkless knew that she was not flirting with him.The Gentleman From Indiana
And away her ladyship tripped, flirting her perfumed fan as she went.Tales And Novels, Volume 9 (of 10)
And I flirting with little Yankee girls, and teaching them to swim!
She decidedly would not have liked it had it ever occurred to her that the man was flirting with her.Is He Popenjoy?
- (intr) to behave or act amorously without emotional commitment; toy or play with another's affections; dally
- (intr usually foll by with) to deal playfully or carelessly (with something dangerous or serious); triflethe motorcyclist flirted with death
- (intr usually foll by with) to think casually (about); toy (with)to flirt with the idea of leaving
- (intr) to move jerkily; dart; flit
- (tr) to subject to a sudden swift motion; flick or toss
- a person who acts flirtatiously
Word Origin and History for flirting
1550s, originally "to turn up one's nose, sneer at," then "to rap or flick, as with the fingers" (1560s). The noun is first attested 1540s, from the verb, with the meaning "stroke of wit." It's possible that the original word was imitative, along the lines of flip (v.), but there seems to be some influence from flit, such as in the flirt sense of "to move in short, quick flights," attested from 1580s.
Meanwhile flirt (n.) had come to mean "a pert young hussey" [Johnson] by 1560s, and Shakespeare has flirt-gill (i.e. Jill) "a woman of light or loose behavior," while flirtgig was a 17c. Yorkshire dialect word for "a giddy, flighty girl." All or any of these could have fed into the main modern verbal sense of "play at courtship" (1777), which also could have grown naturally from the earlier meaning "to flit inconstantly from object to object" (1570s), perhaps influenced by Old French fleureter "talk sweet nonsense," also "to touch a thing in passing," diminutive of fleur "flower" and metaphoric of bees skimming from flower to flower.
The noun meaning "person who flirts" is from 1732. The English word also is possibly related to East Frisian flirt "a flick or light blow," and flirtje "a giddy girl." French flirter "to flirt" is a 19c. borrowing from English. Related: Flirted; flirting.