Definition of dalliance in English:



  • 1A casual romantic or sexual relationship.

    ‘Jack was not averse to an occasional dalliance with a pretty girl’
    [mass noun] ‘MPs have the opportunity for dalliance, as they are away from home for much of the week’
    • ‘We track Hemingway through his four marriages (and an occasional dalliance, such as the Italian girl Adriana who inspired some of his later work) and considerable globe-hopping.’
    • ‘Most of the film flips back and forth between Vera and Fred and their respective sexual and financial dalliances.’
    • ‘We stayed pretty close (even had a couple more dalliances, but neither of us was laboring under any illusions that we could restart it, so it was okay).’
    • ‘Who would have thought that the sexual dalliances of a 56-year-old football manager could generate more column inches than the infidelities of his star player?’
    • ‘No one likes it when a prime minister is put to the sword over untested claims of a sexual dalliance 43 years ago.’
    • ‘Affairs of the heart are not encouraged, although sexual dalliances can be handled with deft precision by those intimately, although not actually, involved.’
    • ‘I didn't say anything for a long time, because if I was questioning my sexuality, I could bet my friends would if I told them about my dalliances.’
    • ‘For short-term sexual dalliances, women focus more on physical characteristics and personality traits such as a sense of humor.’
    • ‘Expect Braff's character, JD, to have further fraught romantic dalliances with Elliot.’
    • ‘The idea of unattached romantic dalliances within lush tropical settings is theoretically pleasant, yet unfulfilling as is the notion of a marriage without jealously or commitment.’
    • ‘Jessica is the kind of woman few heterosexual people want to know about - the woman who is basically straight but has had the occasional dalliance with another woman.’
    • ‘Not that there's anything much at stake in all of this, for he isn't a realist, and the same-sex dalliances he discloses are pure Hollywood fantasy.’
    • ‘‘So much celebrity profiling takes the position that they were heterosexual with, maybe, some same-sex dalliance on the side,’ says Mann.’
    • ‘That answer focused on the personalities of the two extant sexual partners as being merely unstable, unsuitable for sexual dalliance.’
    • ‘Can Dr Ken save the day, or will his occasional sexual dalliance become the next victim of The Psycho Lover?’
    • ‘When your sexual dalliances have been shouted across the world, guys are probably just saying, ‘Hey, I can date a famous woman and probably get some too.’’
    • ‘The biggest no-no remains the illicit affair: 93 percent of Americans find romantic dalliances between married men and women morally unacceptable.’
    • ‘If you love someone and they love you, why do something as silly as a one-time sexual dalliance if it would ruin a good thing?’
    • ‘As long as you respect your partner, occasional dalliances are not a big deal.’
    • ‘Over the next few days, the princess pointedly ignored Ramirez, choosing to spend time with Kamiko instead in romantic dalliance.’
    love affair, affair, affair of the heart, relationship, liaison, courtship, amorous entanglement, romantic entanglement, intrigue, attachment
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A period of brief or casual involvement with something.
      ‘Berkeley was my last dalliance with the education system’
      • ‘His latest disc, Square, is his first dalliance with a major label, but it offers no ready singles.’
      • ‘He won a first-class degree in natural sciences in 1868 and, after a four-year dalliance with a career in medicine, was chosen for the Challenger expedition.’
      • ‘There was a weird flowering of interest in Eastern mysticism and brief dalliance with Krishna.’
      • ‘The government may live to regret its recent dalliance with Euroscepticism if forces hostile to greater European integration unite to defeat the referendum on the Nice Treaty on May 31.’
      • ‘The documentary was surprisingly upbeat for subject matters that included his chronic gambling and alcoholism, as well as a dalliance with suicide.’
      • ‘My relationship with cigarettes has changed from a casual dalliance to a dominant dependency.’
      • ‘You're lucky to get a repeat, but who needs one when the band whip out with one-time, eight-bar dalliances like the ecstatic, whirling bridge on upwardly mobile single ‘Graffiti’?’
      • ‘Romantic visions of harmony with nature are a dalliance, more than a practical reality.’
      • ‘That dalliance with the truth about why sport actually exists spawned a little hybrid that would grow to take over the game, mostly because of its novelty.’
      • ‘His personal life has pretty much overshadowed his music in recent years as dalliances with alcohol and drugs led to a stay in The Priory clinic.’
      • ‘After dalliances with both superpowers, the president the country into economic isolation.’
      • ‘Last year, we had a brief dalliance with the return of chintz, with some retailers featuring it heavily.’
      • ‘If one characteristic is common among all of these competitors, it's their dalliance with the impossible.’
      • ‘He says his brief but intense dalliance with the private sector taught him a lot, including the importance of sticking to what you do best.’
      • ‘Silly ghost stories are otherworldly dalliances, whereas Frankenstein projects dilemmas of coherence and comprehension that are a permanent challenge for narration.’
      • ‘Parts of these ideas had appeared in prior films as well - Videodrome is by no means the origin of Cronenberg's dalliances with these concepts.’
      • ‘The band's R&B dalliances push the song 'n' the band forward from simple slash 'n' burn to a cocky swagger.’
      • ‘Anti-urban thinkers feared the anonymity of the city setting would lead to a lack of discipline and therefore dalliances with immoral behavior.’
      • ‘‘I guess I'm never going to be forgiven for my dalliance with popular culture,’ he says.’
      • ‘As for ambition, following a brief dalliance with politics (in 1996, he stood as a candidate for mayor of Bucharest), all his hopes are for those close to him.’


Middle English (in the sense ‘conversation’): from dally + -ance.