a. Casual romantic or sexual activity: "[The military campaigns] provided ample opportunity for dalliance with civilians and hence for the spread of sexually transmitted disease" (Mark Harrison).
b. A casual or brief romantic or sexual relationship: revealed his many dalliances in his memoirs.
2. A brief involvement or interest in something: a dalliance with socialism.
3. Frivolous spending of time; dawdling: passed the summer in idle dalliance.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.