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 formsphi·lan·der·er, noun

Synonyms for philander Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for philander

womanize, flirt, trifle, dally, wolf

Examples from the Web for philander

Historical Examples of philander

  • 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.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Philander turned and spoke to some one in the house behind him.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • "I don't doubt she wants your photograph, Philander," he drawled.


    Joseph C. Lincoln

  • Philander C. Knox was born on the hill on the east side of the river.

British Dictionary definitions for philander



(intr often foll by with) (of a man) to flirt with women
Derived Formsphilanderer, nounphilandering, noun, adjective

Word Origin for philander

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

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