[ dal-ee ]
/ ˈdæl i /

verb (used without object), dal·lied, dal·ly·ing.

to waste time; loiter; delay.
to act playfully, especially in an amorous or flirtatious way.
to play mockingly; trifle: to dally with danger.

verb (used with object), dal·lied, dal·ly·ing.

to waste (time) (usually followed by away).

Nearby words

  1. dalles, the,
  2. dalliance,
  3. dallin,
  4. dalling and bulwer, baron,
  5. dallis grass,
  6. dalmane,
  7. dalmatia,
  8. dalmatian,
  9. dalmatic,
  10. dalny

Origin of dally

1250–1300; Middle English dalien < Anglo-French dalier to chat, of uncertain origin

1. See loiter. 2. flirt, tease, trifle. 3. toy.

Related formsdal·li·er, noundal·ly·ing·ly, adverbun·dal·ly·ing, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dally

British Dictionary definitions for dally


/ (ˈdælɪ) /

verb -lies, -lying or -lied (intr)

to waste time idly; dawdle
(usually foll by with) to deal frivolously or lightly with; trifle; toyto dally with someone's affections
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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper