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

The probe flew past Ultima Thule in January, completing the most distant planetary flyby ever. Alex Stuckey, Houston Chronicle, "Will NASA study Saturn's largest moon or sample a comet? The country finds out today," 27 June 2019 This mosaic of nine images shows Saturn's moon Titan during Cassini's first very close flyby on October 26, 2004. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "What's happening inside Saturn's rings? The Cassini mission dove between them to find out," 13 June 2019 Every time Cassini fired its thrusters or made another planetary flyby, uncertainty crept into the records of the probe’s speed and location. Quanta Magazine, "Why Can’t We Find Planet Nine?," 3 July 2018 The Parker Space Probe just performed its second solar flyby yesterday, bringing it 15 million miles from the Sun. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "How a Second Look At 40-Year-Old Studies Helped Explain Solar Wind," 6 Apr. 2019 Harnessing Venus’ gravity, Parker will complete seven flybys over seven years to gradually bring its orbit closer and closer to the Sun. Fox News, "NASA eyes stunning 'cloud city' airship concept to explore Venus," 16 Oct. 2018 This remote interplanetary flyby will be over in a blink. Loren Grush, The Verge, "On New Year’s Day, a spacecraft will zoom by the most distant object humanity has ever visited," 27 Dec. 2018 But the New Years flyby is significant because Ultima will be the very farthest object in the solar system humanity has ever explored, and one of the most primitive. Brian Resnick, Vox, "The New Horizons spacecraft is about to explore the farthest object ever: Ultima Thule," 24 Dec. 2018 That flyby helped push the craft on its way to its final working orbit, the agency says. Julissa Treviño, Smithsonian, "200,000 Stars Twinkle in First Test Image From NASA’s Planet-Hunting Satellite," 21 May 2018

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

9 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for flyby

The first known use of flyby was in 1953

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on flyby

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with flyby

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