1 of 3


: a number of warships under a single command
specifically : an organization of ships and aircraft under the command of a flag officer
: group sense 2a
especially : a group (as of ships, planes, or trucks) operated under unified control


2 of 3


: swift in motion : nimble
fleetly adverb
fleetness noun


3 of 3


fleeted; fleeting; fleets

intransitive verb

: to fade away : vanish
archaic : flow
[fleet entry 2] : to fly swiftly
clouds fleeting across the sky
obsolete : drift

transitive verb

: to cause (time) to pass usually quickly or imperceptibly
many young gentlemen … fleet the time carelesslyWilliam Shakespeare
Choose the Right Synonym for fleet

fast, rapid, swift, fleet, quick, speedy, hasty, expeditious mean moving, proceeding, or acting with celerity.

fast and rapid are very close in meaning, but fast applies particularly to the thing that moves

fast horses

and rapid to the movement itself.

rapid current

swift suggests great rapidity coupled with ease of movement.

returned the ball with one swift stroke

fleet adds the implication of lightness and nimbleness.

fleet runners

quick suggests promptness and the taking of little time.

a quick wit

speedy implies quickness of successful accomplishment

speedy delivery of mail

and may also suggest unusual velocity.

hasty suggests hurry and precipitousness and often connotes carelessness.

a hasty inspection

expeditious suggests efficiency together with rapidity of accomplishment.

the expeditious handling of an order

Example Sentences

Noun He was the commander of the Pacific fleet. The company has a large fleet of delivery trucks. Adjective a jewel thief said to be light of heart and fleet of foot
Recent Examples on the Web
Southwest Airlines flew over 5 million passengers in the first quarter of the year, which was 23.5% more passengers than the same last year, on a fleet of 793 aircraft, according to a recent earnings report. Michael Cappetta, Travel + Leisure, 24 May 2023 As new car sales rebound, the average age of the US’s fleet will diminish once again. Niharika Sharma, Quartz, 15 May 2023 That's good news for fleets, for truck drivers, and for residents in areas with lots of truck traffic. Jonathon Ramsey, Car and Driver, 13 May 2023 The best base from which to focus on all things outdoorsy is one of the towns in the hills — try the 43-room hotel Castell Son Claret, just outside Es Capdellà (rooms from $473; more booking options at Expedia and Hotels.com), which has its own fleet of e-bikes ready for loan. Mark Ellwood, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 May 2023 However, Ukraine’s Su-24 fleet has suffered terrible losses to Russian fighters and air defenses, with at least 17 craft confirmed destroyed. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 11 May 2023 Cacciotti, who bought the first-generation Prius about 20 years ago, said that South Pasadena is the first city in the country to fully convert a police car fleet to electric vehicles. Colleen Shalby, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2023 With her designer gowns, Saluki show dogs and a fleet of cars that included a Rolls-Royce and an orange Lamborghini, Ms. Bumbry was a lustrous presence onstage as well as off. Emily Langer, Washington Post, 8 May 2023 One of the newest coaches in the royal fleet, it was created in 2012 to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 6 May 2023
Or lovers-to-be, for the bulk of its cheerfully fleet 82-minute runtime — not that Nathan Bryon and Tom Melia’s fast-talking script leaves us in any doubt as to their destiny from their first sweetly awkward meet-cute. Guy Lodge, Variety, 16 Mar. 2023 Some diehard Romantics might object that Hough is too fleet in his approach. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 24 Jan. 2022 Building in predictive alerts to provide real time coaching is what is needed, and companies like Nauto are innovating rapidly in fleet predictive intelligence looking ahead vs analyzing statistics alone. Cindy Gordon, Forbes, 17 Oct. 2021 Additionally, Ultium Charge 360 will help support home charging and provide non-fleet drivers access to more than 60,000 public places to charge. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, 16 July 2021 During the orchestral prelude, Daniel Barenboim drew a crisp, clean and fleet performance from the players. New York Times, 13 Mar. 2020 Burns thinks his company can compete for a share of the electric vehicle market by being quicker to adjust to technology and by targeting commercial, fleet customers who want more than what conventional trucks can supply. BostonGlobe.com, 8 Nov. 2019 Burns thinks his company can compete for a share of the electric vehicle market by being quicker to adjust to new technology and by targeting commercial, fleet customers who want more than what conventional trucks can supply. Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2019 Receiver Jaylen Erwin on Sunday didn’t list Allen among the fleetest players on the team. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, 11 Aug. 2019
No detox is open for intake in the evening or on the weekends, limiting the sometimes fleeting windows for people seeking sobriety to get help. Mallory Moench, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Apr. 2023 The brothers are betting that their brand of versatile, distinctive pop music will win out over clever marketing strategies and fleeting social media fads. Brady Brickner-wood, SPIN, 12 Apr. 2023 Some have also questioned how fleeting this new role might be: As the AI advances, won’t the humans just be training themselves out of a job? Drew Harwell, Washington Post, 25 Feb. 2023 With a distinct ability to engage her subjects and a pointed understanding of both fleeting cultural trends and unshakable human truths, Kaufman has also produced a constant stream of illuminating profiles of stars as varied as Stevie Nicks, Michael B. Jordan, Joan Rivers, Kevin Hart and Lady Gaga. Los Angeles Times, 2 Mar. 2023 The cruise line unveiled two new specialty suites this week that will be rolled out to fleet members Star Breeze and Star Pride. Dana Givens, Robb Report, 13 Jan. 2023 Now in his mid-30s, the Russian-German pianist has already recorded the complete Beethoven sonatas for Sony, renditions sometimes overly fleet and clangorous but more often enthralling. Tim Page, WSJ, 6 Jan. 2023 Renault also increased its share of sales to individuals, as opposed to fleet sales which tend to be less profitable. Nick Kostov, WSJ, 12 July 2022 Particularly important to fleet operators will be the Energy Services Cloud that will include charging management solutions. Sam Abuelsamid, Forbes, 11 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fleet.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English flete, from Old English flēot ship, from flēotan


probably from fleet entry 3


Middle English fleten, from Old English flēotan; akin to Old High German fliozzan to float, Old English flōwan to flow

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1529, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 3

Time Traveler
The first known use of fleet was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near fleet

Cite this Entry

“Fleet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fleet. Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: a group of warships under one command
: a group of ships or vehicles that move together or are under one management
a fleet of taxis
a fishing fleet


2 of 2 adjective
: very swift
fleet of foot
fleetly adverb
fleetness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on fleet

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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