fleeting

play
adjective fleet·ing \ ˈflē-tiŋ \

Definition of fleeting

:passing swiftly :transitory
  • … the often fleeting nature of fame and fortune …
  • —Tom Sinclair

fleetingly

play \ˈflē-tiŋ-lē\ adverb

fleetingness

noun

Examples of fleeting in a Sentence

  1. I caught a fleeting glimpse of the comet.

  2. had a fleeting desire to jump into the cool lake but kept on hiking

Recent Examples of fleeting from the Web

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

First Known Use of fleeting

1563

Synonym Discussion of fleeting

transient, transitory, ephemeral, momentary, fugitive, fleeting, evanescent mean lasting or staying only a short time. transient applies to what is actually short in its duration or stay.
    • a hotel catering primarily to transient guests
transitory applies to what is by its nature or essence bound to change, pass, or come to an end.
    • fame in the movies is transitory
ephemeral implies striking brevity of life or duration.
    • many slang words are ephemeral
momentary suggests coming and going quickly and therefore being merely a brief interruption of a more enduring state.
    • my feelings of guilt were only momentary
fugitive and fleeting imply passing so quickly as to make apprehending difficult.
    • let a fugitive smile flit across his face
    • fleeting moments of joy
evanescent suggests a quick vanishing and an airy or fragile quality.
    • the story has an evanescent touch of whimsy that is lost in translation

FLEETING Defined for English Language Learners

fleeting

play
adjective

Definition of fleeting for English Language Learners

  • : not lasting : lasting for only a short time


FLEETING Defined for Kids

fleeting

adjective fleet·ing \ ˈflē-tiŋ \

Definition of fleeting for Students

:passing by quickly
  • a fleeting instant


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