Definition of fleet

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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



Definition of fleet (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : swift in motion : nimble
2 : fleeting


\ ˈflēt How to pronounce fleet (audio) \
fleeted; fleeting; fleets

Definition of fleet (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

1a : to fade away : vanish
b archaic : flow
2 [fleet entry 2] : to fly swiftly clouds fleeting across the sky
3 obsolete : drift

transitive verb

: to cause (time) to pass usually quickly or imperceptibly many young gentlemen … fleet the time carelessly— William Shakespeare

Other Words from fleet


fleetly adverb
fleetness noun

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

Examples of fleet in a Sentence

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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As a result, Germany emits more than 8 tons of carbon dioxide per person, compared with less than 5 tons for France, with its large fleet of nuclear plants. Gernot Wagner, WSJ, 7 Jan. 2022 The city has also started to transition its fleet over to electric and hybrid vehicles, replacing about 60 last year. Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6 Jan. 2022 From the Sprinter to the Citan Tourer, Mercedes-Benz has already proved its fleet of vans has no trouble transforming into luxury motorhomes. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 6 Jan. 2022 JetBlue delayed 167 flights, 16% of its total fleet for New Year’s Day. Mason Bissada, Forbes, 1 Jan. 2022 Meanwhile, its non-renewable fleet is enormous—39 percent of its energy comes from nuclear energy, 26 percent from methane gas, and 21 percent from coal. Dorothy Slater, The New Republic, 29 Dec. 2021 Unveiled by Elon Musk at Tesla AI Day in August, the Tesla Bot is part of the carmaker's drive to apply its AI research beyond its vehicle fleet. CNN, 28 Dec. 2021 Ukrainian officials have accused Russian ships of harassing their fleet in the Azov for years. Washington Post, 25 Dec. 2021 Hauser said the Downtown Boxing Gym plans to expand to include more children in the coming year and getting an additional vehicle in its fleet will help make that possible. Elisha Anderson, Detroit Free Press, 21 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 The airline will be accepting the delivery of three more aircraft this year, bringing its fleet total to 10 Boeing 737-NG 800s by the end of 2019. San Diego Union-Tribune, 5 July 2019 Almost two decades later, fire-prone batteries stemming from fundamental design and systems-engineering mistakes prompted regulators in 2013 to temporarily ground Boeing’s flagship 787 Dreamliner fleet world-wide. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, 5 Dec. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hyundai set a record for retail sales -- meaning excluding sales to fleet customers -- and increased its market share by eight-tenths of a percentage point. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, 11 Jan. 2022 Initially, two versions of the Silverado EV will be produced: The WT, or work truck, will be pitched to fleet and commercial customers; and the RST First Edition will target those who want lots of luxury features on top of towing and cargo capacity. Paul A. Eisenstein, NBC News, 5 Jan. 2022 Nikola’s business model is based on long-term leases of its trucks to fleet operators that include fuel as part of the prices. Alan Ohnsman, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 Telematics systems have since become essential to fleet management. Jeff Gardner, Forbes, 3 Nov. 2021 The growing popularity of EVs will modify the approach to fleet management. Aliaksandr Kuushynau, Forbes, 27 Sep. 2021 The system also is available to fleet operators such as buses in urban areas and companies that have fleets of EVs for their employees to drive. Greg Gardner, Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 While not everyone would agree with that sentiment, Kildee's comments highlight the balancing act at play in pushing to transition the U.S. vehicle fleet away from internal combustion engines. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, 6 Aug. 2021 And under the hood, most school buses feature commercial-grade diesel engines that fleet mechanics have reliably maintained for years. Will Sutherland, Popular Mechanics, 14 July 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fleet.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fleet


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

History and Etymology for fleet


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

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

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fleet admiral

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fleet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fleet. Accessed 24 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for fleet



English Language Learners Definition of fleet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a group of military ships that are controlled by one leader
: all of a country's military ships
: a group of ships or vehicles that move or work together or that are controlled or owned by one company



English Language Learners Definition of fleet (Entry 2 of 2)

: very fast


\ ˈflēt How to pronounce fleet (audio) \

Kids Definition of fleet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a group of warships under one commander
2 : a country's navy
3 : a group of ships or vehicles that move together or are owned by one company a fishing fleet a fleet of taxis


fleeter; fleetest

Kids Definition of fleet (Entry 2 of 2)

: very swift a fleet runner

Other Words from fleet

fleetly adverb ran fleetly

More from Merriam-Webster on fleet

Nglish: Translation of fleet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fleet for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fleet


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