\ ˈfliŋ How to pronounce fling (audio) \
flung\ ˈfləŋ How to pronounce flung (audio) \; flinging\ ˈfliŋ-​iŋ How to pronounce flinging (audio) \

Definition of fling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to move in a brusque or headlong manner flung out of the room in a rage
2 of an animal : to kick or plunge vigorously
3 Scotland : caper

transitive verb

1a : to throw forcefully, impetuously, or casually flung herself down on the sofa clothes were flung on the floor
b : to cast as if by throwing flung off all restraint
2 : to place or send suddenly and unceremoniously (see unceremonious sense 2) was arrested and flung into prison
3 : to give unrestrainedly flung himself into music



Definition of fling (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act or instance of flinging
2a : a casual try or involvement
b : a casual or brief love affair
3 : a period devoted to self-indulgence

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Other Words from fling


flinger \ ˈfliŋ-​ər How to pronounce flinger (audio) \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for fling


throw, cast, toss, fling, hurl, pitch, sling mean to cause to move swiftly through space by a propulsive movement or a propelling force. throw is general and interchangeable with the other terms but may specifically imply a distinctive motion with bent arm. can throw a fastball and a curve cast usually implies lightness in the thing thrown and sometimes a scattering. cast it to the winds toss suggests a light or careless or aimless throwing and may imply an upward motion. tossed the coat on the bed fling stresses a violent throwing. flung the ring back in his face hurl implies power as in throwing a massive weight. hurled himself at the intruder pitch suggests throwing carefully at a target. pitch horseshoes sling stresses either the use of whirling momentum in throwing or directness of aim. slung the bag over his shoulder

Examples of fling in a Sentence

Verb He flung his shoe across the room. She flung the door open and stormed into the room. They flung their hats into the air. She flung herself into his arms. He flung his arms around her. I flung back my head and laughed. He leaned back and flung his leg over the arm of the chair. She flung herself onto the couch. Noun She had a fling with her boss. They had time for one last fling before going back to school.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One girl dives upside down, beaming, into a cradle of outstretched arms, then flings herself back upright into perfect stillness atop the shoulders of a girl who’s standing on another cheerleader’s shoulders. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "The Pathos of “Cheer” and the Wild Deceptions of Cheerleading," 16 Jan. 2020 The spray warning reflected the risk of sea spray flung by high winds onto freezing decks and gear, potentially loading them with heavy ice. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "'It happened really fast’: Coast Guard identifies 5 presumed dead after crab boat sinks on New Year’s Eve," 3 Jan. 2020 To create an inviting beach house bedroom that takes its cues from the surrounding elements, ditch the noisy air conditioning units and opt for doors and windows flung open to let in the ocean’s breezes. Jennifer Fernandez, ELLE Decor, "5 Ways to Transform Any Beach House into a Serene Tropical Oasis," 27 Nov. 2019 That quote, a heated barb flung by a pro football player at his coach toward the end of the novel North Dallas Forty, conveys the divide at the heart of Peter Gent’s fictionalized 1973 account of his experience in the NFL. The Si Staff, SI.com, "100 Figures Who Shaped the NFL’s First Century," 28 Aug. 2019 Matternet's drones, with UPS's supervision, carry samples only from a nearby office to the hospital's lab, but will soon expand to farther flung offices as far as 11 miles away. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "This Drone Delivery Service Was Dreamed Up By a Doctor Who Used to Be a Pilot," 20 Dec. 2019 Wildlife enthusiast David Ford captured the foreboding scene, which looks as though a plane full of frankfurters flung open the hatch and let the dogs rain down upon the unassuming shore. Scottie Andrew, CNN, "Thousands of chunky, squirming innkeeper worms washed up on a California beach," 14 Dec. 2019 The officer then twisted the boy’s arm while flinging him to the ground. Jeff Weiner, orlandosentinel.com, "Lawsuit filed on behalf of student slammed to ground by cop at Kissimmee middle school," 5 June 2019 The resulting jets could fling the core’s zinc away from a black hole while also allowing most of its iron to fall back into one. Rachel Crowell, Scientific American, "The Universe’s First Stars Exploded in Strange Ways," 31 May 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Princess Anne has a fling with the future husband of Camilla Shand, the same Camilla who would later marry her brother Prince Charles. Washington Post, "The British royal family is struggling through scandals. Can ‘The Crown’ help?," 27 Dec. 2019 Meanwhile, Cyrus had a brief fling with Kaitlynn Carter before falling for singer Cody Simpson. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Elsa Pataky Says Liam Hemsworth 'Deserves Much More' in the Wake of His Split from Miley Cyrus," 21 Nov. 2019 Tomorrowland NYC Date: Saturday, Nov. 2 Location: New York Expo Center, NY Tickets: Here Belgium's biggest dance music festival comes stateside for a special Halloween fling. Kat Bein, Billboard, "Get Your Rave On at These 10 Best 2019 Halloween Parties Across America," 30 Oct. 2019 Though The Crown depicts their relationship as a relatively brief fling, which seemingly ends in the season finale, in reality, Llewellyn and Margaret dated for eight years, according to the BBC. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Who Is Roddy Llewellyn? Everything You Need to Know About Princess Margaret's Boyfriend," 23 Nov. 2019 Lopez has long moved on from the apparent fling, though — the Hustlers star began dating Alex Rodriguez in March 2017, and the pair are now engaged. Sarah Michaud, PEOPLE.com, "A Comprehensive Guide to Drake's Alleged, Assorted and Actual Love Interests Over the Years," 6 Nov. 2019 Voters see the likes of the UK Independence Party and the Greens as a fling, rather than the start of a long-term relationship. The Economist, "The perils of polling Britain’s coming election," 12 Oct. 2019 One fling through a stretch of twisty roads and you’ll be intrigued. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "The racy Honda Civic Si just wants to have fun (auto review)," 7 Dec. 2019 That’s hard to believe as long as there are cars like the 2020 Honda Civic Si. One fling through a stretch of twisty roads and you’ll be intrigued. Henry Payne, chicagotribune.com, "The racy Honda Civic Si just wants to have fun," 3 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fling.' 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 fling


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


1556, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fling

Verb and Noun

Middle English, perhaps of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse flengja to whip

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Time Traveler for fling

Time Traveler

The first known use of fling was in the 14th century

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Statistics for fling

Last Updated

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fling.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fling. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for fling


How to pronounce fling (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to throw or push (something) in a sudden and forceful way
: to forcefully move (yourself or a part of your body) in a specified way



English Language Learners Definition of fling (Entry 2 of 2)

: a brief sexual relationship
: a short period of time spent doing enjoyable and exciting things


\ ˈfliŋ How to pronounce fling (audio) \
flung\ ˈfləŋ \; flinging

Kids Definition of fling

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to throw hard or without care She flung the junk out the window.
2 : to move forcefully He flung his arms around her.



Kids Definition of fling (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of throwing hard or without care
2 : a time of freedom for pleasure The trip was our last fling of the summer.
3 : a brief try “… you and I are going to have one more fling at finding that last ticket.”— Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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More from Merriam-Webster on fling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fling

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fling

Spanish Central: Translation of fling

Nglish: Translation of fling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fling for Arabic Speakers

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