"scheming, licentious, sexually voracious woman," by 1795, in reference to Valeria Messalina (died 48 C.E.), notorious third wife of the Roman emperor Claudius, long a figure of vanity and immorality.
"effort to attract love from a motive of vanity or amusement, trifling in love," 1650s, from French coquetterie, from coqueter (v.) "to flirt," originally "to swagger or strut like a cock," from coquet (see coquet).
Coquetry whets the appetite; flirtation depraves it .... ["Ik. Marvel" (Donald Grant Mitchell), "Reveries of a Bachelor," 1851]
late 15c., "blown over, passed away" (as a wind or storm), past-participle adjective from verb overblow "to blow over the top of," of a storm, "to abate, pass on" (late 14c.), from over- + blow (v.1). Sense of "past the time of blossoming or blooming" (as a flower), 1610s, is from blow (v.2). Figurative meaning "inflated, puffed up" (with vanity, etc.) is from 1864.
"amorous, flirtatious person, one who seeks to be romantically attractive out of vanity," 1690s, originally of both sexes (as it was in French), from French coquet "a beau," literally "a little cock" (17c.), diminutive of coq "cock" (see cock (n.1)). A figurative reference to its strut or its lust. The distinction from fem. coquette began c. 1700, and use of the earlier word in reference to males has since faded. As a verb, "to act the lover," from 1701. Related: Coqueting.