1

fly

play
verb \ˈflī\

Definition of fly

flew

play \ˈflü\

flown

play \ˈflōn\

flying

  1. intransitive verb
  2. 1 a :  to move in or pass through the air with wings b :  to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c :  to float, wave, or soar in the air <flags flying at half-mast>

  3. 2 a :  to take flight :  flee b :  to fade and disappear :  vanish

  4. 3 a :  to move, pass, or spread quickly <rumors were flying> b :  to be moved with sudden extreme emotion <flew into a rage> c :  to seem to pass quickly <the time simply flew>

  5. 4 :  to become expended or dissipated rapidly

  6. 5 :  to operate or travel in an airplane or spacecraft

  7. 6 :  to work successfully :  win popular acceptance <knew … a pure human-rights approach would not fly — Charles Brydon>

  8. transitive verb
  9. 1 a :  to cause to fly, float, or hang in the air <flying a kite> b :  to operate (as a balloon, aircraft, rocket, or spacecraft) in flight c :  to journey over or through by flying

  10. 2 a :  to flee or escape from b :  avoid, shun

  11. 3 :  to transport by aircraft or spacecraft

fly at

  1. :  to assail suddenly and violently

fly blind

  1. :  to fly an airplane solely by instruments

fly high

  1. :  to be elated

fly in the face of

or

fly in the teeth of

  1. :  to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

Origin and Etymology of fly

Middle English flien, from Old English flēogan; akin to Old High German fliogan to fly and probably to Old English flōwan to flow


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

fly

noun

Definition of fly

plural

flies

  1. 1 :  the action or process of flying :  flight

  2. 2 a :  a device consisting of two or more radial vanes capable of rotating on a spindle to act as a fan or to govern the speed of clockwork or very light machinery b :  flywheel

  3. 3 plural :  the space over a theater stage where scenery and equipment can be hung

  4. 4 :  something attached by one edge: as a :  a garment closing concealed by a fold of cloth extending over the fastener b (1) :  the length of an extended flag from its staff or support (2) :  the outer or loose end of a flag

  5. 5 :  a baseball hit high into the air

  6. 6 :  flyleaf

  7. 7 :  a sheet of material (as canvas) that is attachable to a tent for use as a double top or as a rooflike extension

  8. 8 :  a football pass pattern in which the receiver runs straight downfield

on the fly

  1. 1 :  in motion :  busy

  2. 2 :  while still in the air :  without the ball bouncing <the home run carried 450 feet on the fly>

  3. 3 :  in a hurry and often without preparation :  hastily, spontaneously <making decisions on the fly>

  4. 4 :  simultaneously with another task <software that handles formatting on the fly>

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of fly

before 12th century


3

fly

verb

Definition of fly

flied

flying

  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to hit a fly in baseball

1893

First Known Use of fly

1893


4

fly

noun

Definition of fly

plural

flies

  1. 1 :  a winged insect —usually used in combination <mayflies> <butterfly>

  2. 2 a :  any of a large order (Diptera) of winged or rarely wingless insects (as the housefly, mosquito, or gnat) that have the anterior wings functional, the posterior wings reduced to halteres, and segmented often headless, eyeless, and legless larvae — compare maggot b :  a large stout-bodied fly

  3. 3 :  a fishhook dressed (as with feathers or tinsel) to suggest an insect

fly in the ointment

  1. :  a detracting factor or element

Origin and Etymology of fly

Middle English flie, from Old English flēoge; akin to Old High German flioga fly, Old English flēogan to fly


First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Insect Terms


5

fly

adjective

Definition of fly

chiefly British

  1. :  keen, artful

Origin and Etymology of fly

probably from 1fly


First Known Use: 1811


Fly

play
geographical name \ˈflī\

Definition of Fly

  1. river 650 miles (1046 kilometers) S New Guinea flowing SE into Gulf of Papua



FLY Defined for Kids

1

fly

play
verb \ˈflī\

Definition of fly for Students

flew

\ˈflü\

flown

\ˈflōn\

flying

  1. 1 :  to move in or pass through the air with wings <Birds and airplanes fly.>

  2. 2 :  to move through the air or before the wind <Paper was flying in all directions.>

  3. 3 :  to float or cause to float, wave, or soar in the wind <fly a kite> <fly a flag>

  4. 4 :  to run away :  flee <… calling out to him to fly, for God's sake, by the window … — Charles Dickens, The Cricket on the Hearth>

  5. 5 :  to pass or move swiftly <Time flies.> <Cars were flying past us.>

  6. 6 :  to operate or travel in an aircraft <fly a jet> <I'm flying home for the holidays.>

  7. 7 :  to become suddenly emotional <He flew into a rage.>


2

fly

play
noun

Definition of fly for Students

plural

flies

  1. 1 :  a flap of material to cover a fastening in a garment

  2. 2 :  a layer of fabric that goes over the top of a tent

  3. 3 :  a baseball hit very high


3

fly

play
noun

Definition of fly for Students

plural

flies

  1. 1 :  any of a large group of mostly stout-bodied two-winged insects (as the housefly)

  2. 2 :  a winged insect Hint: This sense of fly is usually used in combination. <dragonfly> <firefly>

  3. 3 :  a fishhook made to look like an insect


Medical Dictionary

fly

play
noun \ˈflī\

Medical Definition of fly

plural

flies

  1. 1:  a winged insect—usually used in combination <emerging mayflies> <a large butterfly>

  2. 2a:  any dipteran fly—called also true fly, two-winged flyb:  a large and stout-bodied dipteran fly (as a horsefly)



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