fly·​ing | \ ˈflī-iŋ How to pronounce flying (audio) \

Definition of flying

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : moving or capable of moving in the air
b : moving or made by moving rapidly flying feet a flying leap
c : very brief
2 : intended for ready movement or action a flying squad car
3 : having stylized wings used especially of livestock brand marks
4 : of or relating to the operation of aircraft a flying club
5 : traversed or to be traversed (as in speed-record trials) after a running start a flying kilometer
with flying colors
: with complete or eminent success



Definition of flying (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : travel by air
2 : the operation of an aircraft or spacecraft

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Synonyms & Antonyms for flying

Synonyms: Adjective

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of flying in a Sentence

Adjective a story about a flying car a flying attempt at finishing the work Noun had never had the slightest fear of flying
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The next scene cuts to Lil Nas X ascending toward a flying figure who could be interpreted as God or an angel. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "Every Jaw-Dropping Beauty Look in Lil Nas X's "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" Music Video," 26 Mar. 2021 Tech stocks, particularly some of 2020’s highest flying tech stocks, continue to get hammered in the market amid concerns that rising bond yields will curb their value. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Can a $100 billion football deal save the cable industry?," 19 Mar. 2021 After all, the flying-wing B-2 is a stealth bomber. David Axe, Forbes, "Four American Bombers Met Up In the Arctic—It’s A More Impressive Feat Than You Might Think," 18 Mar. 2021 Overall, the trend for the B-21 is a refinement of the B-2A’s original flying wing shape. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The B-21 Bomber Is the Coolest Plane We've Never Seen," 10 Mar. 2021 The flying, crazy-strong rodent might also be the key to getting Flora's parents, an aspiring comic-book artist (Ben Schwartz) and a struggling romance novelist (Alyson Hannigan), back together. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "What to stream this weekend: Hulu's 'Nomadland,' Netflix's 'I Care a Lot,' Disney+'s 'Flora & Ulysses'," 19 Feb. 2021 This method provided accurate census information, but was expensive and too dependent on safe flying weather and other variables. Star Tribune, "Drones are helping modernize deer counts through locating fawns," 4 Mar. 2021 Hawaiian has a built in advantage in that its primary region of operation – the islands that make up the 50th state - have the best flying weather in the nation. Dan Reed, Forbes, "Even With Travel Volume Cut By More Than Half U.S. Airlines Still Struggle To Operate On Time," 3 Mar. 2021 The flying field east of San Antonio, near Schertz, was named for one of those aviators: Capt. San Antonio Express-News, "Fiery fatal Randolph air crash in 1951 was one of many at the San Antonio training base in the 20th century," 27 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Diminished international flying will reflect the reduction of American’s fleet during the pandemic. Ted Reed, Forbes, "American Airlines Says It Will Pare Back International Flying To What Makes Money," 13 May 2021 Air carriers are relying heavily on domestic flying and jets such as the 737 Max because international travel is still down significantly and not expected to recover for years. Dallas News, "FAA clears way for Southwest and American to fix 737 Max electrical issues," 13 May 2021 The Colonial Pipeline transports gasoline and other fuel from Texas to the Northeast and supplies about 45% of fuel the East Coast uses for driving and flying. Editors, USA TODAY, "Liz Cheney vote, Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Colonial Pipeline: 5 things to know Wednesday," 12 May 2021 For now, only state residents are eligible for the program, and visitors will still have to either test negative for COVID-19 before flying or quarantine for 10 days when traveling between islands. Erin Schumaker, ABC News, "New Hawaii vaccine pass allows vaccinated residents to travel between islands," 12 May 2021 Colonial's pipeline transports gasoline and other fuel from Texas to the Northeast and supplies about 45% of the fuel the East Coast uses for driving and flying. USA Today, "Colonial Pipeline shutdown triggers gas shortages, higher gas prices and panic buying. We explain why in 4 charts," 12 May 2021 Tucker, known for his fearlessness behind the throttle, pushed the limits of aerobatic flying in the Challenger III, diving low to cut ribbons at high speeds and soaring high enough to seemingly stall the plane, only to tumble earthward. Washington Post, "Smithsonian Air and Space Museum lands famed aerobatic plane," 10 May 2021 American Airlines said all flight attendants have returned to active flying status and the airline will add 300 new pilots by the end of the year. NBC News, "Ahead of busy travel season, airline and hotel workers say they are already stretched to their limit," 6 May 2021 During that era, a certain mischief took hold among a faction of the balloonist society — including cocaine use, breaking FAA rules and irresponsible flying, according to Rogina. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Curious Alaska: What happened to hot air ballooning in Anchorage?," 5 May 2021

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


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


1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for flying

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for flying

Last Updated

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Flying.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for flying



English Language Learners Definition of flying

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: moving or able to move in the air



English Language Learners Definition of flying (Entry 2 of 2)

: the activity of traveling in an aircraft

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