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’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Most of the film flips back and forth between Vera and Fred and their respective sexual and financial dalliances.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘So much celebrity profiling takes the position that they were heterosexual with, maybe, some same-sex dalliance on the side,’ says Mann.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Affairs of the heart are not encouraged, although sexual dalliances can be handled with deft precision by those intimately, although not actually, involved.’
    • ‘For short-term sexual dalliances, women focus more on physical characteristics and personality traits such as a sense of humor.’
    • ‘The biggest no-no remains the illicit affair: 93 percent of Americans find romantic dalliances between married men and women morally unacceptable.’
    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘No one likes it when a prime minister is put to the sword over untested claims of a sexual dalliance 43 years ago.’
    • ‘Over the next few days, the princess pointedly ignored Ramirez, choosing to spend time with Kamiko instead in romantic dalliance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Can Dr Ken save the day, or will his occasional sexual dalliance become the next victim of The Psycho Lover?’
    • ‘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).’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That answer focused on the personalities of the two extant sexual partners as being merely unstable, unsuitable for sexual dalliance.’
    • ‘As long as you respect your partner, occasional dalliances are not a big deal.’
    love affair, affair, affair of the heart, relationship, liaison, courtship, amorous entanglement, romantic entanglement, intrigue, attachment
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A period of brief or casual involvement with something.
      ‘Berkeley was my last dalliance with the education system’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘The band's R&B dalliances push the song 'n' the band forward from simple slash 'n' burn to a cocky swagger.’
      • ‘After dalliances with both superpowers, the president the country into economic isolation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Romantic visions of harmony with nature are a dalliance, more than a practical reality.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If one characteristic is common among all of these competitors, it's their dalliance with the impossible.’
      • ‘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’?’
      • ‘The documentary was surprisingly upbeat for subject matters that included his chronic gambling and alcoholism, as well as a dalliance with suicide.’
      • ‘Anti-urban thinkers feared the anonymity of the city setting would lead to a lack of discipline and therefore dalliances with immoral behavior.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Silly ghost stories are otherworldly dalliances, whereas Frankenstein projects dilemmas of coherence and comprehension that are a permanent challenge for narration.’
      • ‘Last year, we had a brief dalliance with the return of chintz, with some retailers featuring it heavily.’
      • ‘My relationship with cigarettes has changed from a casual dalliance to a dominant dependency.’
      • ‘His latest disc, Square, is his first dalliance with a major label, but it offers no ready singles.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There was a weird flowering of interest in Eastern mysticism and brief dalliance with Krishna.’


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