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 On their way back to King’s Landing on a ship, Rhaenyra and her boatmates get a flyby from a dragon. Omar L. Gallaga, Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2022 After this initial flyby, Solar Orbiter will return to Venus' vicinity during its mission and use the planet's gravity to alter or tilt its orbit to eventually reach the right orbital angle to photograph the poles of the sun. Katie Hunt, CNN, 9 Aug. 2021 In a flyby of Titan, NASA's Cassini spacecraft scanned a region called Sotra Facula and spotted at least three geologic features that are in all likelihood volcanoes spewing liquid water through the moon's icy surface. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, 16 Dec. 2010 Then, after another lunar flyby, the ship will head back to Earth for splashdown in the Pacific Ocean west of San Diego on October 11. William Harwood, CBS News, 30 Aug. 2022 After this initial test flight, Artemis 2 will bring a human crew on a lunar flyby, entering the moon’s orbit and returning in eight to ten days. Carlyn Kranking, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Aug. 2022 With the solar array issue apparently solved, mission operators can turn their focus to an Earth flyby in October when Lucy will pick up a gravity assist—the first of three en route to the main asteroid belt. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 3 Aug. 2022 Separately, the tiny satellites will measure hydrogen at the moon’s south pole and map lunar water deposits, conduct a lunar flyby, and study particles and magnetic fields streaming from the sun. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 28 June 2022 Another cubesat jointly developed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory will use a solar sail to travel to a tiny asteroid and do a flyby of the surface. Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, 28 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of flyby

1953, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

23 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Flyby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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