fling

1 of 2

verb

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

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

1
a
: 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
flinger noun

fling

2 of 2

noun

1
: an act or instance of flinging
2
a
: a casual try or involvement
b
: a casual or brief love affair
3
: a period devoted to self-indulgence
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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Verb
Byron is surveying rout and pillage, and the terrible ease with which the laws of civil society, such as respect for the elderly, are flung aside. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 26 Feb. 2024 After the war, Cartier produced a brooch of that same bird, now singing, his cage flung wide open. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, 15 Mar. 2024 Other beach-goers danced, flung Frisbees and footballs, kicked soccer balls and even duked it out in boxing gloves. Chris Eberhart, Fox News, 12 Mar. 2024 The incoming storm flung enough cloud cover northward at just the right height to deliver Friday’s stunning scenes. Ian Livingston, Washington Post, 8 Mar. 2024 Putin, a former KGB spy, was just 46 when he was flung to the top level of politics in 1999, plucked from relative obscurity by an ailing Boris Yeltsin to serve as Russian prime minister and soon became acting president. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, 14 Mar. 2024 The key to life is flinging yourself into life without a plan and being open to living that way. Alix Strauss, New York Times, 21 Feb. 2024 The difference is that the Ukrainians are flinging thousands of tiny drones at Russian troops assaulting the city. David Axe, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 Want to fire up your boat and spend the day flinging top-water plastics to hungry largemouth bass? Jordan Rodriguez, Idaho Statesman, 31 Jan. 2024
Noun
Although the relationship didn't work out, Carrie did benefit from their brief fling, writing about his bedroom interests in her column. Nicole Briese, Peoplemag, 3 Apr. 2024 Kids came and went out of the house, crossing the border without even a cursory fling of the bedspread. Pamela Paul, The Mercury News, 3 Mar. 2024 When this reconnection happens, the new magnetic field lines generate enormous force, like a taut rubber band being snapped, and this force flings plasma out from the sun. Rebecca Boyle, Scientific American, 20 Feb. 2024 The look would scream spring fling, block-party ready, or just casual cool. Kerane Marcellus, Essence, 27 Mar. 2024 No sniggering jokes now about princely flings and sulky princesses and body doubles. Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times, 24 Mar. 2024 It’s supposed to be a quick fling, just for the summer. Sarah Yang, Sunset Magazine, 19 Mar. 2024 Colt disappears after suffering an injury on a movie set and checks out of his fling with colleague Jody Moreno (Emily Blunt). Erin Jensen, USA TODAY, 13 Mar. 2024 The two become good friends until Cal learns that Jacob’s latest fling is with ... his daughter. Keith Langston, Peoplemag, 9 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fling.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Verb and Noun

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

First Known Use

Verb

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

Noun

1556, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near fling

Cite this Entry

“Fling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fling. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

fling

1 of 2 verb
flung ˈfləŋ How to pronounce fling (audio) ; flinging ˈfliŋ-iŋ How to pronounce fling (audio)
1
: to move in an abrupt or headlong manner
flung out of the room in a huff
2
: to kick or plunge vigorously
the horse flung out at him as he went by
3
a
: to throw or swing with force
flung herself down on the couch
b
: to cast aside : discard
4
: to put suddenly and unexpectedly into a state or condition
flung into confusion
flinger noun

fling

2 of 2 noun
1
: an act or instance of flinging
2
: a casual try or involvement
3
: a time of freedom for pleasure

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