fly·​by | \ ˈflī-ˌbī How to pronounce flyby (audio) \
plural flybys

Definition of flyby

1 : a prearranged usually low-altitude flight by one or more airplanes over a public gathering (such as an air show)
2a : a flight of a spacecraft past a celestial body (such as Mars) close enough to obtain scientific data
b : a spacecraft that makes a flyby

Examples of flyby in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But the ones collected during this flyby can be used in comparison with those taken by the Voyager and Galileo missions. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 4 June 2021 As the parachutists descended, there was a celebratory flyby. Luke Sharrett, NBC News, 27 Apr. 2021 In December 2018, one peculiar comet made its closest approach to Earth in centuries with a dramatic flyby bright enough to be seen with the naked eye. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 8 July 2021 Thursday's celebrations began with a flyby of fighter jets and helicopters observed by the nation's leaders. NBC News, 1 July 2021 Having just completed its core five-year mission surveying the giant planet, Juno’s 34 perijove—close flyby—of Jupiter sees it in a new, shorter orbit of the giant planet. Jamie Carter, Forbes, 8 June 2021 New images captured by the spacecraft after a close flyby of the asteroid April 7 show the aftermath following the brief touchdown of OSIRIS-REx, which had collected 2 ounces of rocky material. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 20 Apr. 2021 That, in turn, sets up a flyby of icy Europa on September 29, 2022, and two close flybys of Io on December 30, 2023, and February 3, 2024. William Harwood, CBS News, 8 June 2021 The Juno spacecraft will use the opportunity to make another flyby of Jupiter to help researchers plan future Jovian System missions. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, 7 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'flyby.' 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 flyby

1953, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flyby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of flyby

US : a usually low flight past a group of people at an air show, during a parade, etc., by an aircraft or group of aircraft
: a flight of a spacecraft past a planet, moon, etc.


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