dally

Dally means “to waste time.” When you dally, you will cause a delay because of your dawdling.

You have probably heard the expression "to dilly-dally" — which means “to dawdle.” Well, if you take the dilly out of dilly-dally to get just dally — you still have pretty much the same meaning. Dally has other common definitions, such as “to flirt” (especially without care of the result) or “to play.” The light tone is probably an echo of its origin, which is likely the French word dalier, meaning “to amuse oneself.”

Definitions of dally
  1. verb
    behave carelessly or indifferently
    synonyms: flirt, play, toy
    play, trifle
    consider not very seriously
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    type of:
    act, move
    perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)
  2. verb
    consider not very seriously
    synonyms: play, trifle
    flirt, play, toy
    behave carelessly or indifferently
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    type of:
    consider, deal, look at, take
    take into consideration for exemplifying purposes
  3. verb
    waste time
    “Get busy--don't dally!”
    synonyms: dawdle
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    type of:
    act, behave, do
    behave in a certain manner; show a certain behavior; conduct or comport oneself
  4. verb
    talk or behave amorously, without serious intentions
    synonyms: butterfly, chat up, coquet, coquette, flirt, mash, philander, romance
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    types:
    wanton
    engage in amorous play
    vamp
    act seductively with (someone)
    type of:
    speak, talk
    exchange thoughts; talk with
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