• synonyms


See more synonyms for dally on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), dal·lied, dal·ly·ing.
  1. to waste time; loiter; delay.
  2. to act playfully, especially in an amorous or flirtatious way.
  3. to play mockingly; trifle: to dally with danger.
Show More
verb (used with object), dal·lied, dal·ly·ing.
  1. to waste (time) (usually followed by away).
Show More

Origin of dally

1250–1300; Middle English dalien < Anglo-French dalier to chat, of uncertain origin
Related formsdal·li·er, noundal·ly·ing·ly, adverbun·dal·ly·ing, adjective

Synonyms for dally

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. See loiter. 2. flirt, tease, trifle. 3. toy.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for dally

linger, putter, tarry, drag, procrastinate, trail, idle, loiter, lag, boondoggle, lollygag

Examples from the Web for dally

Historical Examples of dally

  • I may not dally on my way, turning to the right and the left for beauty and caricature.

    The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 10, No. 58, August, 1862


  • Twas no time now, thought I, all at once, to dally with the child.

  • We can delay arrival at the goal of our desires; we can dally by the wayside if we will.

  • Sire and sons returned from the cemetery invigorated for their dally labours.

    Auld Licht Idylls

    J. M. Barrie

  • To dally with the impossible were sheer madness, he knew that.

    Colorado Jim

    George Goodchild

British Dictionary definitions for dally


verb -lies, -lying or -lied (intr)
  1. to waste time idly; dawdle
  2. (usually foll by with) to deal frivolously or lightly with; trifle; toyto dally with someone's affections
Show More
Derived Formsdallier, noun

Word Origin for dally

C14: from Anglo-French dalier to gossip, of uncertain origin
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 dally


c.1300, "to talk, converse," possibly from Anglo-French dalier "to amuse oneself," of uncertain origin. Sense of "waste time" emerged by late 14c. Related: Dallied; dallying.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper