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
Sudden distant gunfire sends them scrambling toward a barbwire border fence, their luggage unceremoniously flung over the barrier by guards as the van speeds away. Tim Grierson, Los Angeles Times, 27 June 2024 The company halted its entire driverless fleet across the United States last year after one of its autonomous cars operating in San Francisco hit and dragged a jaywalking pedestrian who was flung into its path by a human driver. Trisha Thadani, Washington Post, 25 June 2024
Noun
Although there are moments when the film goes big with expensive dinners and private studio tours and an adorably quirky third-act gesture, the relationship is generally pitched as a slow-burn love affair, not an impassioned fling. Angie Han, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 June 2024 The Alwyn lore starts here with references to a secret meeting in a dive bar and a casual fling that grew into something more. Nate Jones, Vulture, 20 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for fling 

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 Jul. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on fling

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