flirt

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

1553, from the merger of Early Modern English flirt (to flick), flurt (to mock, jibe, scorn), and flirt, flurt (a giddy girl). Of obscure origin and relation. Apparently related to similar words in Germanic, compare Low German flirt (a flick of the fingers, a light blow), Low German flirtje (a giddy girl), Low German flirtje (a flirt), German Flittchen (a flirt; tart; hussy), Norwegian flira (to giggle, titter). Perhaps from Middle English gill-flurt (a flirt), or an alteration of flird (a trifling", also, "to jibe, jeer at), from Middle English flerd (mockery, fraud, deception), from Old English fleard (nonsense, vanity, folly, deception). Compare Scots flird (to talk idly, flirt, flaunt). See flird.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

flirt (plural flirts)

  1. A sudden jerk; a quick throw or cast; a darting motion
  2. Someone who flirts a lot or enjoys flirting; a flirtatious person.
    • 2011, Christina Jones, Never Can Say Goodbye:
      'Oooh, don't.' Lilly staggered behind the counter. 'Hangover from hell. We had a good time, I think. He's such a flirt though. He really fancied Midnight. Was sooo gutted that she was actually a straight man. Think it almost turned him celibate.'
    • 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.
  4. A tentative or brief, passing engagement with something.
    • 1986, The Reader's Adviser:
      However, after a brief flirt with socialist realism , this method was abandoned and strict controls were removed after 1948. By the early 1950s, writers had earned the right to use any method and to experiment.
    • 1988, Mountain:
      Manufacturers are being stung into action on both sides of the Atlantic as climbers consult their lawyers after a flirt with gravity. Of course responsible manufacturers already exercise great care with all aspects of safety and testing.
    • 1990, Axel Madsen, Silk Roads: The Asian Adventures of Clara and André Malraux:
      Only two years older than André, this bespectacled bookworm had, after a flirt with the surrealists, settled down as the editor of Gallimard's literary monthly, Nouvelle Revue Française, better known by its acronym NRF.
    • 2005, Murray J. Kohn, Is the Holocaust Vanishing?: A Survivor's Reflections on the Academic Waning of Memory and Jewish Identity in the Post-Auschwitz Era, University Press of America (→ISBN), page 141:
      However, the later rabbinic Law demands from a Jew who wishes to return to Judaism after a flirt with another religion, to go through giyur, conversion requirements, like any Gentile who wishes to enter the Covenant of Israel.
    • 2014, Vincent Barnett, Routledge Handbook of the History of Global Economic Thought, Routledge (→ISBN)
      Receiving a chair in Stockholm 1904 – after a passing flirt with the Historical School and social reform – he became an enigmatic Walrasian.
    • 2019, Rolf Giesen, The Nosferatu Story: The Seminal Horror Film, Its Predecessors and Its Enduring Legacy, McFarland (→ISBN), page 113:
      Lafayette Ron Hubbard was acquainted for some time with John “Jack” Whiteside Parsons (1914–1952), the James Dean of the occult, who was a rocket engineer and, after a brief flirt with Marxism, became interested in witchcraft and voodoo ...
  5. (dialectal) A brief shower (of rain or snow).
    • 1842, Hazard's United States Commercial and Statistical Register, page 218:
      In the course of the month, there were three flirts of snow, []
    • 1847, Charles Peirce, A Meteorological Account of the Weather in Philadelphia: From January 1, 1790, to January 1, 1847, Including Fifty-seven Years; with an Appendix...:
      [page 59:] A flirt of snow; after which, mild and pleasant weather, (with occasional showers) continued through the remainder of the month.
      [page 220:] The medium temperature of this month was 45, and it produced much mild and pleasant weather, interspersed with some rainy days, and a few flirts of snow, and frosty nights.
    • 1864, Josiah Gilbert, G. C. Churchill, The Dolomite Mountains: Excursions Through Tyrol, Carinthia, Carniola, and Friuli in 1861, 1861, and 1863 : with a Geological Chapter, page 10:
      ... and we still trusted to accomplish the Malnitzer Pass on the morrow. Our hopes fell to zero as during the night an ominous wind howled over the roof, and shook our casements furiously. Morning broke with chilling flirts of rain.
    • 1875, Sir Richard Francis Burton, Ultima Thule: Or, A Summer in Iceland, page 316:
      But joy came in the morning : first a glimpse of blue sky between the flirts of rain, then a sign of the sun. The river was reported to be rapidly filling — never mind, unlucky Friday has passed by, and we may look for better things on Saturday.
    • 1881, Abba Goold Woolson, Browsing Among Books: And Other Essays, page 184:
      Long before their wonted time the robins came, — so early, indeed, that many a flirt of snow has stopped their nest-repairing, and sent them off shivering with the blues. They have arrived now in full force.
    • 1903, George Savary Wasson, Cap'n Simeon's Store, page 218:
      " [] and I would n't wonder ef we did n't have a little brush of wind and quite a flirt o' snow outen her yit."
    • 1917, Elizabeth Sewell Hill, Western Waters, and Other Poems, page 61:
      Who cares now for hailstones skirling?
      The rushes bend to the eddies curling;
      A breath — and lo! the flag uncurling its petals blue
      Oh, spring will come! There's a flirt of rain and a drift of light;
      Oh, Spring will come!
    • 1967, Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan:
      In the haze to the extreme north the Tower of Flints arose like a celluloid ruler set floating upon its end, or like a water-color drawing of a tower that has been left in the open and whose pigment has been all but washed away by a flirt of rain.

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

flirt (third-person singular simple present flirts, present participle flirting, simple 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
  2. (archaic, intransitive) To jeer at; to mock. [16th-18th c.]
  3. (intransitive) To dart about; to move with quick, jerky motions. [from 16th c.]
    • 2012, Lenora Worth, Sweetheart Reunion:
      Her skirt flirted around her knees like a flower petal.
  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.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

  • (to insinuate emotional affection): belittle

Descendants[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adjective[edit]

flirt (not comparable)

  1. pert; wanton

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

flirt

  1. first-, second- and third-person singular present indicative of flirten
  2. imperative of flirten

French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English flirt.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

flirt m (plural flirts)

  1. An episode of (or the act of) flirting.

Related terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

Further reading[edit]


Polish[edit]

Polish Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia pl

Etymology[edit]

From English flirt.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

flirt m inan (diminutive flircik)

  1. flirting
  2. hanky-panky (debaucherous act)

Declension[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • flirt in Wielki słownik języka polskiego, Instytut Języka Polskiego PAN
  • flirt in Polish dictionaries at PWN

Romanian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French flirt.

Noun[edit]

flirt n (plural flirturi)

  1. flirt

Declension[edit]


Swedish[edit]

Noun[edit]

flirt c

  1. Alternative spelling of flört

Declension[edit]

Declension of flirt 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative flirt flirten flirtar flirtarna
Genitive flirts flirtens flirtars flirtarnas