- 1 [no object] Behave as though sexually attracted to someone, but playfully rather than with serious intentions: she began to tease him, flirting with other men in front of himMore example sentences
- So what's the harm if I flirt with someone and they don't flirt back?
- He is flirting with you - clumsily enough for you to write to me to ask what the hell he means, but flirting nonetheless.
- We walk up front and not only is he doing some serious flirting with this beautiful girl, but she is flirting back with him.
- 1.1 (flirt with) Experiment with or show a superficial interest in (an idea, activity, or movement) without committing oneself to it seriously: a painter who had flirted briefly with CubismMore example sentences
- Briefly flirting with the idea of managing a Guatemalan mine, he prefers death to exile, and walks in front of an express train.
- Other states will watch with interest at the impact in NSW and flirt with the idea of following suit.
- The best-case scenario is when inflation is neither so high as to impede economic efficiency and growth nor so low that the nominal short-term interest rate routinely flirts with zero.
- 1.2 (flirt with) Deliberately expose oneself to (danger or difficulty): the need of some individuals to flirt with deathMore example sentences
- These acts, in which an individual may flirt with death, offer a sense of excitement.
- The second builds up to the climatic and dramatic end where Martin flirts with danger and then realises that he's placed everything he holds dear on the line.
- Perhaps one of the dangers that the show flirts with is that an emphasis on visual rhyming may cause divergent works to look perfectly complacent.
- 2 [with object] (Of a bird) wave or open and shut (its wings or tail) with a quick flicking motion: a moorhen stepped out of the reeds, flirting its white tailMore example sentences
- The broad palms of his tail are flirted high in the air; then smiting the surface, the thunderous concussion resounds for miles.
- Kymenos shrugged and turned back to grooming Sykeen, though in fact he got in only a few strokes with the brush before Sykeen danced sideways away from him, flirting his tail.
- She kept expecting the elf-horse to object, but it only flirted its tail and stamped a time or two when Shara came too close.
- 2.1 [no object, with adverbial of direction] Move quickly to and fro with a fluttering motion: the lark was flirting around the siteMore example sentences
- Shrill and soft old Autumnal winds blow and we are tucked below the shallow soil where seeds spring up and wither quickly flirting madly.
- Blackbirds flirt and do their mating flutter at the curb on Main Street.
nounBack to top
- A person who habitually flirts: Jim was an outrageous flirtMore example sentences
- It wasn't that she was a flirt, because she wasn't one, it was just that none of them ever seemed right for her.
- For the record, the Australians were voted the best kissers, best lovers and best flirts.
- This is what separates a good flirt from a great flirt: nothing will bond you more effectively than mirroring someone's behaviour.
- More example sentences
- The story wrapped around the songs sees an extremely wealthy family preparing for the wedding of the flighty, flirty Tracey.
- She smiled and gave her flirty laugh and playfully pushed him.
- All the boys back in the City had been rough and teasing, never flirty.
mid 16th century: apparently symbolic, the elements fl- and -irt both suggesting sudden movement; compare with flick and spurt. The original verb senses were 'give someone a sharp blow' and 'sneer at'; the earliest noun senses were 'joke, jibe' and 'flighty girl' (defined by Dr Johnson as 'a pert young hussey'), with a notion originally of cheeky behaviour, later of playfully amorous behaviour.