Definition of dally in English:
verb (dallies, dallying, dallied)[no object]
- Sligo players, anxious not to dally, sought to move the ball on with the minimum of fuss.
- From the corner, the Colombian international seized on the ball unmarked at the far post but dallied enough to allow Edmondson a smart block.
- It's a very small-scale event, so please don't dither, dally or delay.
- My friend, both your wife and your housekeeper know that you no longer dally with her, and her loitering in your home is merely charity on your part.
- By dallying with her at Alexandria, he risked losing what he had just won at Pharsalus.
- As to his dallying with a 21-year-old, she noted, ‘Welcome sexual behavior is about as relevant to sexual harassment as borrowing a car is to stealing one.’
- Similarly, I have gotten email from people ‘warning’ me that I am dallying with heterodoxy because I don't see a big problem with Harry Potter books and I kinda liked the Matrix.
- Some regarded him as dallying with nationalism.
- You come to win, not to dally with numbers and root for the home team.
Middle English: from Old French dalier 'to chat', of unknown origin.
shilly-shally from (mid 18th century):
People unable to make up their minds whether to do something are likely to ask themselves ‘Shall I?’ repeatedly. With the rhyming impulse also seen in dilly-dally (early 17th century) (dally came from the French for ‘to chat’ in the Middle Ages) and willy-nilly, people in the 18th century mocked this tendency by expanding it to ‘shill I, shall I?’, and so shilly-shally was born.
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