fly

verb (1)
\ˈflī \
flew\ˈflü \; flown\ˈflōn \; flying

Definition of fly 

(Entry 1 of 6)

intransitive verb

1a : to move in or pass through the air with wings bees flying around the hive

b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space bullets flying in all directions

c : to float, wave, or soar in the air flags flying at half-mast

2a : to take flight : flee was forced to fly for his life when his enemies came into power

b : to fade and disappear : vanish mists flying before the morning sun

3a : 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

4 : to become expended or dissipated rapidly After he became established in the town, his inheritance flew.

5 : to operate or travel in an airplane or spacecraft They flew to Florida for their vacation.

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

transitive verb

1a : to cause to fly, float, or hang in the air flying a kite

b : to operate (something, such as a balloon, aircraft, rocket, or spacecraft) in flight

c : to journey over or through by flying flew the Atlantic

2a : to flee or escape from The bird had flown its cage.

b : avoid, shun fly such a talkative woman

3 : to transport by aircraft or spacecraft Supplies were flown to the disaster area.

fly at

: to assail suddenly and violently He flew at me in a rage.

fly blind

: to fly an airplane solely by instruments

fly high

: to be elated She was flying high after winning the contest.

fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of

: to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of His explanation flies in the face of the evidence.

fly

noun (1)
plural flies

Definition of fly (Entry 2 of 6)

1 : the action or process of flying : flight

2a : 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 flies plural : the space over a theater stage where scenery and equipment can be hung

4 : something attached by one edge: such 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 : a baseball hit high into the air

6 : flyleaf

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

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

on the fly

1 : in motion : busy

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

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

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

fly

verb (2)
flied; flying

Definition of fly (Entry 3 of 6)

intransitive verb

: to hit a fly in baseball

fly

noun (2)
plural flies

Definition of fly (Entry 4 of 6)

1 : a winged insect usually used in combination mayfliesbutterfly

2a : any of a large order (Diptera) of winged or rarely wingless insects (such 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 : a fishhook dressed (as with feathers or tinsel) to suggest an insect

fly in the ointment

: a detracting factor or element

fly

adjective

Definition of fly (Entry 5 of 6)

chiefly British

Fly

geographical name
\ˈflī \

Definition of Fly (Entry 6 of 6)

river 650 miles (1046 kilometers) long in southern New Guinea flowing southeast into the Gulf of Papua

First Known Use of fly

Verb (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1a

Noun (1)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1893, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1811, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fly

Verb (1)

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

Noun (1)

see fly entry 1

Noun (2)

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

Adjective

probably from fly entry 1

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Learn More about fly

Dictionary Entries near fly

Fluxus

fluxweed

flx

fly

Fly

flyability

flyable

Statistics for fly

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Time Traveler for fly

The first known use of fly was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for fly

fly

verb
\ˈflī \
flew\ˈflü \; flown\ˈflōn \; flying

Kids Definition of fly

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

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

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

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

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

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

fly

noun
plural flies

Kids Definition of fly (Entry 2 of 3)

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

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

3 : a baseball hit very high

fly

noun
plural flies

Kids Definition of fly (Entry 3 of 3)

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

2 : a winged insect

Hint: This sense of fly is usually used in combination.
  • dragonfly
  • firefly

3 : a fishhook made to look like an insect

fly

noun
\ˈflī \
plural flies

Medical Definition of fly 

1 : a winged insect usually used in combination emerging mayflies a large butterfly

2a : any dipteran fly

called also true fly, two-winged fly

b : a large and stout-bodied dipteran fly (as a horsefly)

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More from Merriam-Webster on fly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fly

Spanish Central: Translation of fly

Nglish: Translation of fly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fly for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about fly

Comments on fly

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lying above or upon

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