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

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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 But many community advocates see the efforts as fleeting and superficial. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, "Two tales of one city: The Port sits in the shadow of Moderna and Pfizer," 27 Feb. 2021 The pandemic has reminded me how precious and fleeting life can be. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "Billboard Change Agents: Leaders Stepping Up In A Year of Turmoil," 28 Jan. 2021 Out of concern for each other’s safety, our get-togethers are now rare and fleeting, always at a distance, always with masks, no hair rumpling allowed. Washington Post, "I’m not as close with my adult son because of covid. Then I stumbled upon his music playlist and was floored.," 25 Dec. 2020 The fleeting and relatively rare phenomenon will typically occur on inland lakes in the northern part of the state during Novembers or Decembers with little snow. Katie Galioto, Star Tribune, "Skating the Boundary Waters: 'Wild ice' had locals dropping everything," 15 Dec. 2020 There was an excitable and fleeting moment when everything was cake. Raven Smith, Vogue, "Self-Reflection for the Holidays: Why I'm Counting My Blessings Offline This Year," 25 Nov. 2020 Other families, however, are finding comfort, no matter how fleeting, in holiday routines. Washington Post, "Hundreds of thousands of families spend holidays with an empty seat at the table," 22 Dec. 2020 First came House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who for a fleeting moment seemed to be reconsidering his long defense of Trump. Philip Elliott, Time, "GOP Leaders Seem to Want a Trump Divorce. But They Can’t Bring Themselves to Sign the Papers," 14 Jan. 2021 But, as his former boss’s tenure demonstrated, such victories can be quite fleeting. Jay Cost, Washington Examiner, "Biden's Kitchen Cabinet," 31 Dec. 2020

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.

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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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Statistics for fleeting

Last Updated

6 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fleeting.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fleeting. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for fleeting



English Language Learners Definition of fleeting

: not lasting : lasting for only a short time


fleet·​ing | \ ˈflē-tiŋ \

Kids Definition of fleeting

: passing by quickly a fleeting instant

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Comments on fleeting

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