- 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 for flirt on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for flirt
The girls were so blasé about the men who came in to flirt with them—I mean genuinely blasé.Barbara Hulanicki, Queen of Fast Fashion
October 15, 2014
So too the many variations on its theme, each fueled by our limitless urge to flirt.Patient’s STD Diagnosis Posted on Facebook
June 6, 2014
“You look like Dave Pirner,” she said to him, meaning the remark to sound like a small insult, but also a flirt.
Kurt responded with a flirt of his own: He grabbed Courtney and wrestled her to the ground.
She was also a buxom beauty, a kind of nineteenth century bombshell who loved to flirt.Lincoln in Love
February 14, 2014
You will not find him a heavy companion, and I allow you to flirt with him as much as you like.Lady Susan
Murmur soft nothings to the women; flirt but don't have favourites.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
You can argue with clever women, but you can't kiss them or flirt with them.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
Indeed, she had many admirers, and was even what some might call a flirt.
We dragged a bait near him and he went down with a flirt of his tail.Tales of Fishes
- (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 flirt
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.