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 spacecraft, which is almost two years into an epic mission to study the sun, will make its flyby of Venus at 11.22 p.m. EDT on Friday, reported. Fox News, "NASA’s Parker Solar Probe set for close Venus flyby," 11 July 2020 During the Venus flyby, the craft came within 340 kilometers of the planet, allowing the team to count the neutrons present at a wide range of altitudes. Scott Hershberger, Scientific American, "How Long Do Neutrons Live? Space Probe Could Put Debate to Rest," 25 June 2020 The spacecraft is continuing to fly through the edge of our solar system and researchers are using data from its flyby of Arrokoth to learn about these distant, cold objects that act like time capsules from the birth of our solar system. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Pluto may have started hot and contained an ocean, according to new discovery," 22 June 2020 First launched in 2006, New Horizons explored Pluto and its moons in 2015, and continued with a close flyby of Kuiper Belt in 2019. Candice Wang, Popular Science, "NASA’s New Horizons is so far away, its seeing stars from new angles," 19 June 2020 Traveling at roughly 33,000 miles per hour, the $720 million New Horizons spacecraft, which launched in January 2006, will continue sending data transmission from its Arrokoth flyby until the latter part of summer 2020. Fox News, "NASA spacecraft takes images of 'alien sky' 4.3B miles from Earth," 17 June 2020 The armed forces organized a flyby and showered hospitals with rose petals. Nilanjana Bhowmick, National Geographic, "Millions of women volunteers form India's frontline COVID response," 1 June 2020 The original JunoCam image was photographed on July 10, 2017, at 10:10 p.m. EDT, as the Juno spacecraft performed its seventh close flyby of Jupiter. Fox News, "Jupiter's Great Red Spot seen as amazing work of art," 7 Mar. 2020 This attempt, along with the New Horizons flyby of a Kuiper Belt Object, will make for a busy end of year for space reporters. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: China aims for the Moon, SpaceX gets approval for load-and-go," 17 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for flyby

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The first known use of flyby was in 1953

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Last Updated

24 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flyby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce flyby (audio)

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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