(third-person singular simple present flirts, present participle flirting, simple past and past participle flirted)
- 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
- (intransitive) To jeer at; to mock. [16th-18th c.]
- (intransitive) To dart about; to move with quick, jerky motions. [from 16th c.]
- To blurt out. [from 17th c.]
- (intransitive) To play at courtship; to talk with teasing affection, to insinuate sexual attraction in a playful (especially conversational) way. [from 18th c.]
- 2006, The Guardian, 21 Apr 2006:
- 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.
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.