fleet·​ing | \ ˈflē-tiŋ How to pronounce fleeting (audio) \

Definition of fleeting

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

Other Words from fleeting

fleetingly \ ˈflē-​tiŋ-​lē How to pronounce fleeting (audio) \ 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 These times are precious and joyful and crazy, all rolled up — and fleeting. Alysha Witwicki, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 May 2022 Desire is tricky, mercurial, alternately fleeting and enduring, tragic and transcendent. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2022 In contrast to these grassroots efforts, national moments of mourning and remembrance have been rare and fleeting. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 13 Apr. 2022 Interviews with New Jersey voters revealed that some Democrats’ breaks from their party last fall were neither flippant nor fleeting. Fox News, 11 Apr. 2022 If these efforts do end up supporting an ice age origin, the La Lindosa paintings may capture a rare and fleeting glimpse of animals doomed to oblivion, opening an eerie window into the lost ecosystems of the past and the people who inhabited them. New York Times, 6 Mar. 2022 Unfortunately, every player, coach, and executive in the NFL knows (or should know that words and hypothetical contractual promises are regularly dismissed and fleeting in this business. Jeremy Cluff, USA TODAY, 28 Feb. 2022 Burning fossil fuels is having a direct impact on water availability in the West, which for the past two decades has been characterized by dry weather, with hopeful but fleeting bursts of precipitation. Stephanie Elam, CNN, 14 Feb. 2022 Thirty-three years is a long time to endure anything, even something as vague and fleeting as seeking fulfillment from following sports teams. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, 31 Jan. 2022 See More

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, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for fleeting

Time Traveler

The first known use of fleeting was in 1563

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Dictionary Entries Near fleeting

fleet in being



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Statistics for fleeting

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fleeting.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fleeting. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for fleeting


fleet·​ing | \ ˈflē-tiŋ \

Kids Definition of fleeting

: passing by quickly a fleeting instant

More from Merriam-Webster on fleeting

Nglish: Translation of fleeting for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fleeting for Arabic Speakers


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