1553, from the merger of Early Modern English flirt, flurt, and flirt, flurt. Pronunciation
  • (British) IPA: /flɜːt/
  • (America) IPA: /flɝt/

flirt (plural flirts)

  1. A sudden jerk; a quick throw or cast; a darting motion
    • several little flirts and vibrations
    • with many a flirt and flutter
  2. Someone who flirts a lot or enjoys flirting; a flirtatious person.
    • July 16, 1713, Joseph Addison, The Guardian No. 109
      Several young flirts about town had a design to cast us out of the fashionable world.
  3. An act of flirting.
  • Russian: рыво́к
Translations Translations Verb

flirt (flirts, present participle flirting; past and past participle flirted)

  1. (transitive) To throw (something) with a jerk or sudden movement; to fling. [from 16th c.]
    They flirt water in each other's faces.
    to flirt a glove, or a handkerchief
    • 1891, Henry James, The Pupil, [ page 141]
      She laughed […] while she flirted a soiled pocket-handkerchief at him.
  2. (archaic, intransitive) To jeer at; to mock. [16th-18th c.]
    • (Can we date this quote?), Francis Beaumont; John Fletcher, “The Wild Goose Chase”, in Comedies and Tragedies […], London: Printed for Humphrey Robinson, […], and for Humphrey Moseley […], published 1647, OCLC 3083972 ↗, Act 2, scene 3:
      I am ashamed; I am scorned; I am flirted.
    • 1603, Michel de Montaigne, chapter 27, in John Florio, transl., The Essayes, […], book II, printed at London: By Val[entine] Simmes for Edward Blount […], OCLC 946730821 ↗:
      Asinius Pollio […], having written many invectives against Plancus, staid untill he were dead to publish them. It was rather to flurt at a blind man, and raile in a dead mans eare, and to offend a senselesse man, than incurre the danger of his revenge.
  3. (intransitive) To dart about; to move with quick, jerky motions. [from 16th c.]
  4. (transitive) To blurt out. [from 17th c.]
    • 1915, Thornton W. Burgess, The Adventures of Chatterer the Red Squirrel, Little, Brown, and Company, Boston, Ch.XXI:
      Chatterer flirted his tale in the saucy way he has, and his eyes twinkled.
  5. (intransitive) To play at courtship; to talk with teasing affection, to insinuate sexual attraction in a playful (especially conversational) way. [from 18th c.]
    • 1876, Louisa May Alcott, "Scarlet Stockings" in Silver Pitchers: and Independence:
      Of course, the young people flirted, for that diversion is apparently irradicable even in the "best society".
    • 2006, The Guardian, 21 April:
      Dr Hutchinson, who told jurors that he had been married for 37 years and that his son was a policeman, said he enjoyed flirting with the woman, was flattered by her attention and was anticipating patting her bottom again—but had no intention of seducing her.
  6. (intransitive) To experiment, or tentatively engage, with; to become involved in passing with.
    • 2009, Kenneth Lavoie, Hold Daddy's Hand: A Father's ageless book of wisdom for his daughter
      I've thrown away my reputation, self-respect, money, health and happiness through the use of drugs and alcohol; I can teach her how fragile a reputation is, how a fool and their money are soon parted, and how dangerous it is to flirt with drugs.
    • 2014, David R. Topper, Idolatry and Infinity: Of Art, Math, and God (page 67)
      The various episodes of thinkers flirting with the idea of an infinite universe, starting with early Greek speculations and running through Cusa in the Renaissance, came to fruition as a central element in the Scientific Revolution.
  • (to insinuate emotional affection) seeSynonyms en
  • (to insinuate emotional affection) belittle
Translations Adjective

flirt (not comparable)

  1. pert; wanton

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