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on the fly

Definition of on the fly

  1. 1 :  quickly and often without preparation <You'll have to make decisions on the fly.>

  2. 2 :  through the air :  without hitting the ground <The home run went 450 feet on the fly.>

  3. 3 :  while something else is also being done on a computer <software that handles formatting on the fly>



Word by Word Definitions

  1. :  to move in or pass through the air with wings

    :  to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space

    :  to float, wave, or soar in the air

  1. :  the action or process of flying :  flight

    :  a device consisting of two or more radial vanes capable of rotating on a spindle to act as a fan or to govern the speed of clockwork or very light machinery

    :  flywheel

  1. :  to hit a fly in baseball

  1. :  any of a large order (Diptera) of winged or rarely wingless insects (as the housefly, mosquito, or gnat) that have the anterior wings functional, the posterior wings reduced to halteres, and segmented often headless, eyeless, and legless larvae — compare maggot

    :  a large stout-bodied fly

    :  a fishhook dressed (as with feathers or tinsel) to suggest an insect

  1. :  keen, artful


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up on the fly? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

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