fleeting

adjective
fleet·ing | \ˈflē-tiŋ \

Definition of fleeting 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fleeting

fleetingly \ˈflē-tiŋ-lē \ adverb
fleetingness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of fleeting in a Sentence

I caught a fleeting glimpse of the comet. had a fleeting desire to jump into the cool lake but kept on hiking

Recent Examples on the Web

Their presence, like Boogie's in Golden State, could be fleeting. Lee Jenkins, SI.com, "Fit For The King: LeBron James and the Lakers Form Hollywood's Ultimate Marriage," 11 July 2018 From there, the movie quickly escalates (its running time is a fleeting one hour and 40 minutes) as Montag gets drawn more deeply into the resistance. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "Fahrenheit 451 Tackles the Evils of Social Media," 19 May 2018 Fears of a collapse of the Mexican peso have so far proved fleeting, as the national currency experienced one of its sharpest upsurges in years following Lopez Obrador’s election, thanks in part to a downturn in the value of the U.S. dollar. Patrick J. Mcdonnell, latimes.com, "Once denounced as a political threat, Lopez Obrador is now the darling of Mexico," 10 July 2018 In the second episode, set in a luxurious home in the south of France, Mr. Nicholls establishes the sadistic tendencies of Mr. Melrose’s father David (played by Hugo Weaving) by dramatizing a fleeting memory of the family maid. Tobias Grey, WSJ, "In ‘Patrick Melrose,’ the Heroin Addict Is Born With a Silver Spoon in His Mouth," 9 May 2018 The Tuunbaq’s first fleeting appearances suggest something like a polar bear, though the more the crew sees of the animal, the less certain that description becomes. Asher Elbein, The Atlantic, "The Terror Is More Than a Chilling Monster Show," 1 May 2018 Beautiful yet excruciatingly fleeting memories A drone lifts into the sky. Faine Greenwood, Slate Magazine, "Merry Crashmas," 3 Jan. 2018 Image There are many stories here, short and fleeting. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Review: At BalletX, a New Work Alive With Suspense and Surrealism," 13 July 2018 Decades after the infamous Rolling Stones concert at which Hunter was stabbed to death, Parker watched the fleeting footage of her uncle’s killing in horror. James Sullivan, BostonGlobe.com, "Recalling Altamont as a crime story," 12 July 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of fleeting

1563, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fleeting

Statistics for fleeting

Last Updated

28 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fleeting

The first known use of fleeting was in 1563

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for fleeting

fleeting

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of fleeting

: not lasting : lasting for only a short time

fleeting

adjective
fleet·ing | \ˈflē-tiŋ\

Kids Definition of fleeting

: passing by quickly a fleeting instant

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on fleeting

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!