Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To make playfully romantic or sexual overtures.
  • intransitive v. To deal playfully, triflingly, or superficially with: flirt with danger.
  • intransitive v. To move abruptly or jerkily.
  • transitive v. To toss or flip suddenly.
  • transitive v. To move quickly.
  • n. One given to flirting.
  • n. An abrupt jerking movement.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sudden jerk; a quick throw or cast; a darting motion; hence, a jeer.
  • n. One who flirts; especially a woman who acts with giddiness, or plays at courtship; a coquette; a pert girl.
  • n. An episode of flirting.
  • adj. pert; wanton

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Pert; wanton.
  • n. A sudden jerk; a quick throw or cast; a darting motion; hence, a jeer.
  • n. One who flirts; esp., a woman who acts with giddiness, or plays at courtship; a coquette; a pert girl.
  • intransitive v. To run and dart about; to act with giddiness, or from a desire to attract notice; especially, to play the coquette; to play at courtship; to coquet.
  • intransitive v. To utter contemptuous language, with an air of disdain; to jeer or gibe.
  • transitive v. To throw with a jerk or quick effort; to fling suddenly
  • transitive v. To toss or throw about; to move playfully to and fro.
  • transitive v. To jeer at; to treat with contempt; to mock.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To throw with a quick toss or jerk; fling suddenly or smartly, and carelessly or without aim; toss off or about.
  • To handle with short, quick movements; make waving motions with.
  • To gibe, jeer, or scoff at; flout.
  • To snap the fingers at derisively.
  • To scold; chide.
  • To move nimbly; run or dart about; flutter restlessly; act with levity or giddiness.
  • To play at courtship; practise coquettish diversions; engage in amatory pastime; in general, to make insincere advances of any kind.
  • To practise gibing or jeering; scoff.
  • To throw over; discard; jilt.
  • In archery, to fly unsteadily: said of an arrow.
  • n. A smart toss or cast; a darting or sprightly motion.
  • n. A contemptuous remark; a gibe; a jeer.
  • n. One who flirts; one who plays at courtship; one who coquets for pastime or adventure: said of either sex, but most commonly of a woman.
  • n. A shrewish woman.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. playful behavior intended to arouse sexual interest
  • v. talk or behave amorously, without serious intentions
  • v. behave carelessly or indifferently
  • n. a seductive woman who uses her sex appeal to exploit men

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
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 Eastern Frisian flirt ("a flick of the fingers, a light blow"), Eastern Frisian flirtje ("a giddy girl"), Low German flirtje ("a flirt"), German Flirtchen ("a flirt"), 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. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • I think being a good flirt is something that kind of happens naturally when you feel comfortable and confident in yourself.

    Ask Professor Foxy: Does My Size and Not Flirting Keep Me Alone? - Feministing

  • I will venture that sometimes writers write the apocalyptically good sex scene because of what Russell identifies: the lazy presumption (unless it is written by Anais Nin) that the character is a thin flirt of a disguise for the writer.

    Discussion: On Sex in Fiction

  • She was called a flirt and had elegant tattoos on her legs, left palm, and even one on her tongue.

    Under a Maui Moon

  • The reputation of being a flirt is greatly to be dreaded by young ladies, for their company soon becomes annoying to men of sense; while those who possess similar tastes will, to be sure, laugh, dance and sing with them, to their hearts 'content, but will never ask them to be admitted to a nearer and dearer companionship.

    A Manual of Etiquette with Hints on Politeness and Good Breeding

  • And a gentleman flirt is one of the most despicable creatures in the whole creation!

    A Manual of Etiquette with Hints on Politeness and Good Breeding

  • In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily.

    Archive 2009-03-01

  • She yearned to try it, if only in the form of that no-guarantee promise called flirt-ing.

    The Unbearable Lightness of Being

  • It was too bad that she was called a flirt by the young men, and a stuck-up thing by the girls, when in fact she was merely more shrewd and calculating than the others, who were content to drift out of the primary schools into the shops, and out of the shops into haphazard matrimony.

    Different Girls

  • She has never come near me since, and I have changed my opinion of her: a beguiling minx, with little taste or judgment, and more than her share of feminine lightness and caprice; an unconscionable flirt, that is all she is.

    Stories of Achievement, Volume IV (of 6) Authors and Journalists

  • She was not in any sense what could be called a flirt, or a girl who planned, out of a set purpose, to make a conquest or use her powers of attractiveness to disturb the peace of her young men acquaintances.

    The High Calling

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Comments

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  • what's about a possible french origine: fleureter - to say things with fleurs/flowers

    October 12, 2009


  • Open here I flung a shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
    In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore.
    Not the least obeisance made he; not an minute stopped or stayed he;
    But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
    Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
    Perched and sat and nothing more.

    - Edgar Allan Poe, 'The Raven'.

    April 27, 2009

  • Huh. Wonder what it is I've been doing all these years.

    July 28, 2008

  • WordNet is RIGHT - you WOMEN are trying tO EXPLOIT MEN with your FLIRT - by DEFINITION!!

    July 28, 2008