I've heard of the expression cavorting with various women. Apparently, Google says the original expression is cavorting with the enemy, but I take that the definition is slightly different then. What is the meaning of this expression?

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    Where does Google say that the original expression is "cavorting with the enemy"? You are not going by the autocomplete choices that appear when you type "cavorting with", are you? – JeffSahol Sep 21 '11 at 13:18
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    If Google gives OP credence in cavorting with the enemy, I think that's either deliberate punning, or ignorant mistranscription, of consorting with the enemy. – FumbleFingers Sep 21 '11 at 15:57

The OED gives it as being of US origin, first recorded in 1794 and with an original meaning describing the behaviour of the rider of a horse. An etymological note tells us that ‘from this comes the Americanism “cavorting” running or riding around in a heedless or purposeless manner.’

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    I think the referent of the "it" in the first sentence could be unclear. I assume you're just talking about the verb "to cavort." In that case, though, shouldn't a complete answer also address the meaning of "with various women"? – herisson Jul 14 '16 at 23:06

The actual meaning of the phrase "cavorting with various women" is dating (and likely sleeping with) multiple women, as opposed to being in a stable, monogamous relationship.


The LITERAL meaning of "cavort" is to "prance," "caper," "romp," and generally have fun.


But it can be used figuratively in the "dating" sense, insofar as what kind of "caper" or "romp" could be more enjoyable or fun?


It means dating women, with a negative connotation.

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