\ 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

Synonyms for fling

Synonyms: Verb

cast, catapult, chuck, dash, fire, heave, hurl, hurtle, launch, lob, loft, peg, pelt, pitch, sling, throw, toss

Synonyms: Noun

binge, frisk, frolic, gambol, idyll (also idyl), lark, ploy, revel, rollick, romp, spree

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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


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.


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

Townsend was flung into the air and suffered severe head trauma. Brieanna J. Frank, azcentral, "Driver was texting his wife when he hit and killed Officer Clayton Townsend, report says," 27 June 2019 In the photo, Valeria’s tiny arm is flung across her father’s neck in a haunting embrace, her body tucked inside his T-shirt. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, "A searing photo of deaths at the border forces media outlets to decide: Publish or not?," 26 June 2019 Flares, rocks and even petrol bombs were flung at the British ships and many in the UK have even gone as far as calling for warships to step in and protect the fishing fleet. Sam Webb, Fox News, "British fisherman call on Navy to protect them from aggressive French rivals in 'Scallop Wars'," 30 Aug. 2018 Then, giant curtains are flung over it, completely obscuring the baker’s dozen of audience members. Travis M. Andrews, BostonGlobe.com, "David Copperfield forced to reveal secret of vanishing trick in court," 20 Apr. 2018 Machado flung his bat to the backstop before he was corralled to the Padres’ dugout. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Umpires not happy with Machado ban; Hosmer among players calling for ump accountability," 18 June 2019 Woody’s signature rag doll slapstick comedy is in full swing, from the cowboy flailing atop an angry cat running in circles, to getting his face stepped on by Bonnie’s dad, to flinging his limbs every which way to keep Forky in check. Kelsea Stahler, refinery29.com, "Toy Story 4 Isn't Perfect, But It Will Fork Its Way Right Into Your Heart," 15 June 2019 The danger factor of Dancing Dead IPX is awe-inspiring and a little hard to fathom, from dancers leaning perilously over the side of a high-up platform to hanging upside down on straps by their ankles or flinging themselves across the turf. Ellen Dunkel, Philly.com, "Brian Sanders' trippy, witty dance with the undead," 10 May 2018 However, that lander, named MINERVA, was accidentally released when Hayabusa was too far away from its asteroid, so it got flung out into space and never landed. Loren Grush, The Verge, "A Japanese spacecraft just threw two small rovers at an asteroid," 21 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The tabloids continued to follow Vanderbilt through her young adulthood, including during a string of high-profile relationships, including flings with the likes of Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando. Sangeeta Singh-kurtz, Quartzy, "Gloria Vanderbilt, American heiress and jeans queen, has died at 95," 17 June 2019 Her first serious fling was with the composer Alexander von Zemlinsky. The Economist, "The life and loves of Alma Mahler," 14 June 2019 Kendall Jenner and Ben Simmons's summer fling seemed to escalate quickly, but things are reportedly simmering down between the supermodel and NBA star. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kendall Jenner and Ben Simmons' Relationship Is Reportedly Dying Down," 31 Aug. 2018 In addition to the fling, children will also be able to enjoy a scavenger hunt in the new building and throughout the Spring Creek facility. Geoff Bruce, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Candy to fly at Pewaukee's Spring Creek Church," 17 Apr. 2018 These couples lasted as short as one date (yikes) to several years, with plenty of flings in between. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "16 Celebs You Didn’t Know Dated Disney Channel Stars," 14 May 2019 Fast-forward to Fall 2018, and the grey plaid blazer has proven to be more than a street-style fling. Halie Lesavage, Glamour, "These Fall 2018 Outfits Prove That a Grey Blazer Goes With Everything," 26 Sep. 2018 In other words, the balloon sleeve wasn’t just a summertime fashion fling, and these 17 knit versions prove just as much. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Pouf! Just Like That, the Balloon-Sleeved Sweater Is Back for Winter," 12 Nov. 2018 Vegas would have given the Minnesota Vikings better odds to win their NFC Divisional playoff game on a last-gasp fling and a prayer. Gary D'amato, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "D'Amato: Ice, ice, baby: Olympic speedskater Erin Jackson on a fast learning curve," 16 Jan. 2018

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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Statistics for fling

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for fling

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

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More Definitions for fling



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fling

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fling

Spanish Central: Translation of fling

Nglish: Translation of fling for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fling for Arabic Speakers

Comments on fling

What made you want to look up fling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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