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[fi-lan-der] /fɪˈlæn dər/
verb (used without object)
(of a man) to make love with a woman one cannot or will not marry; carry on flirtations.
Origin of philander
1675-85; < Greek phílandros one who loves (of a woman, loving her husband); see philo-, andro-; later used in fiction as a proper name for a lover, and apparently mistaken as “a man who loves”
Related forms
philanderer, noun
trifle, dally, womanize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for philander
Historical Examples
  • And philander told me himself that he didn't know why he bought it. '

    Fair Harbor

    Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • philander drove off, shaking his head and chuckling to himself.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • philander turned and spoke to some one in the house behind him.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • "I don't doubt she wants your photograph, philander," he drawled.

    Shavings Joseph C. Lincoln
  • philander C. Knox was born on the hill on the east side of the river.

    Watch Yourself Go By Al. G. Field
  • And I would not sacrifice my dinner to philander with Helen of Troy herself.'

    The Explorer W. Somerset Maugham
  • I suppose when he is recovert of his wounds he will be down here to philander with her.

    A Daughter of Raasay William MacLeod Raine
  • But it was one thing to free a horse-thief, and another to stop and "philander" with him.

  • No one except the members of the firm of philander and Sons knew where he was.

    The Goose Man Jacob Wassermann
  • philander, to ramble on incoherently; to write discursively and weakly.

    The Slang Dictionary John Camden Hotten
British Dictionary definitions for philander


(intransitive) often foll by with. (of a man) to flirt with women
Derived Forms
philanderer, noun
philandering, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Greek philandros fond of men, from philos loving +anēr man; used as a name for a lover in literary works
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
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Word Origin and History for philander

1737, from the noun meaning "a lover" (1700), from Philander, popular name for a lover in stories, drama, and poetry, from Greek adjective philandros "with love for people," perhaps mistaken as meaning "a loving man," from phil- "loving" (see philo-) + andr-, stem of aner "man" (see anthropo-). Related: Philandered; philandering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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