flirt |flərt|verb1 [ intrans. ] behave as though attracted to or trying to attractsomeone, but for amusement rather than with seriousintentions : it amused him to flirt with her.• ( 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 Cubism.• ( flirt with) deliberately expose oneself to (danger or difficulty) : the need of some individuals to flirt with death.2 [ trans. ] (of a bird) wave or open and shut (its wings or tail) with a quick flicking motion.• [ intrans. ] move back and forth with a flicking or fluttering motion : the lark was flirting around the site.nouna person who habitually flirts.DERIVATIVESflirtation |-ˈtā sh ən| nounflirtatious |-ˈtā sh əs| adjectiveflirtatiously |-ˈtā sh əslē| adverbflirtatiousness |-ˈtā sh əsnəs| nounflirty ( flirtier , flirtiest ).ORIGIN mid 16th cent.: apparently symbolic, the elements fl-and -irt both suggesting sudden movement; compare with flickand spurt . The original verb senses were [give someone a sharp blow] and [sneer at] ; the earliest noun senses were [joke, gibe]and [flighty girl] (defined by Dr. Johnson as [a pert young hussey] ), with a notion originally of cheeky behavior, later of playfully amorous behavior.