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
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If that’s not futuristic enough, a fleet of drones will be used to drop food, medicine and everyday items to the pods, while larger autonomous vessels will carry out bigger deliveries like furniture and luggage. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 3 Aug. 2022 Allen, a multimillionaire who made his money through a plastics business, also owns a fleet of yachts and the Bahamian island of Walker’s Cay. Sean Kingsley, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 July 2022 Vadatursky’s agribusiness, Nibulon, includes a fleet of ships for sending grain abroad. Susie Blann, Anchorage Daily News, 31 July 2022 Vadatursky's agribusiness, Nibulon, includes a fleet of ships for sending grain abroad. Susie Blann, ajc, 31 July 2022 Bout assembled a fleet of about 60 cargo planes based at airfields from the Persian Gulf to Europe and Texas, fanning the flames of civil wars, particularly in Africa, Braun said. Los Angeles Times, 30 July 2022 The regional government has commissioned a trial of the P-12 ferries, using the boats on a commuter route from the city center to the suburb of Ekerö, with a view to ultimately running a fleet of flying ferries. Julia Buckley, CNN, 28 July 2022 The combined airline will have roughly 1,700 daily flights to more than 125 destinations in 30 countries, according to the announcement, and a fleet of 458 aircraft. Aaron Gregg, Washington Post, 28 July 2022 The combined airline would have a fleet of 458 aircraft. Zach Wichter, USA TODAY, 28 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Some diehard Romantics might object that Hough is too fleet in his approach. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, 24 Jan. 2022 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Crystal Endeavor will join the Silversea Cruises fleet this month, Royal Caribbean said in a news release Monday. Nathan Diller, USA TODAY, 18 July 2022 Jones was promoted to fleet manager, in charge of keeping the factory’s forklifts and carts on schedule, maintained and repaired. Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times, 25 Mar. 2022 And with every purchase, the global industrial base deepens, offering the U.S. F-35 fleet an extra measure of resiliency. Craig Hooper, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 The stations also have to be accessible to the general public, or to fleet operators from more than one company. Timothy Puko, WSJ, 10 Feb. 2022 Noblet: How will fleet electrification grow in the next 5-10 years, from your perspective? Stacy Noblet, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 These figures are not conventionally lovely, and yet Arnold is able to make striking images out of scenes that would otherwise fleet by, unnoticed. The New Yorker, 29 Jan. 2022 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 See More

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.

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

6 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fleet.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fleet. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for fleet


\ 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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