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 Pentagon officially released three videos that show what appear to be unidentified flying objects. Karol Brinkley, CNN, "Must-watch videos of the week," 1 May 2020 The footage, which was released through the Freedom of Information Act after previously being published by the New York Times, came from U.S. fighter jets that have encountered the strange flying objects over the years. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "'A hell of a video': Trump wonders about authenticity of Navy UFO footage," 30 Apr. 2020 Look for the distinct great square (actually a rectangle) that makes up the torso of the mighty flying horse. Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, "Skywatch: Super chilled starry nights," 29 Dec. 2019 But his flying visit is not entirely all hat and no cattle Choose us for news analysis that respects your time and intelligence Get up to 80% off a quarterly subscription with View subscription options Cancel at any time. The Economist, "A tryst with Trump The American president can expect a warm welcome in Modi’s India," 23 Feb. 2020 That morning, the National Weather Service had issued a forecast discussion noting a deep marine layer that would affect flying conditions, including around the Los Angeles and Burbank airports. Erin Ailworth, WSJ, "The Last Flight of Kobe Bryant’s Life," 28 Jan. 2020 These are now known as the Nimitz encounters, so named for the fighter pilots of the USS Nimitz Carrier Strike Group who spotted the strange flying objects. Tim Mcmillan, Popular Mechanics, "The Tale of the Tape," 17 Jan. 2020 Singh, who worked on self-driving cars before shifting to air taxis, says that autonomous flying vehicles are easier to develop in some respects. Matt Mcfarland, CNN, "Uber and Hyundai team up to put flying taxis in the sky," 7 Jan. 2020 Last year, the Navy for the first time acknowledged that three UFO videos -- one from the 2004 USS Nimitz incident and two from 2015 -- were real videos of unidentified flying objects. Fox News, "Top-secret UFO files could ‘gravely damage’ US national security, Navy says," 15 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun After Travis departed the band due to a fear of flying, fellow Shoals guitarist Kelvin Holly took his place. Matt Wake |, al, "Little Richard’s deep, slightly complicated Alabama roots," 20 May 2020 Here’s an overview of some key areas of the economy: Airlines Government plans to quarantine visitors have rocked the industry’s hopes of a partial rebound in flying during the crucial summer season. Charlotte Ryan,, "Britain’s Plan to Get Working Again Doesn’t Seem to Be Working," 13 May 2020 The Tex Hill Wing owns the antique plane and uses it to help train a local group of cadets who are interested in pursuing a career in flying. Silvia Foster-frau,, "Archbishop soars over San Antonio as parishes prepare to reopen," 11 May 2020 The United cuts will most likely be accomplished primarily via a reduction in frequency and changes in seasonal flying. Susan Glaser, cleveland, "United Airlines reducing domestic flights by 10% due to coronavirus scare; impact on Cleveland unclear," 5 Mar. 2020 The incremental increase in flying is dwarfed by the industry’s growth across the globe. Seth Kugel, New York Times, "Are Frequent Flier Miles Killing the Planet?," 5 Mar. 2020 The supplier had continued to make parts for the aircraft after a global flying ban began in March after two fatal crashes. Brendan Case,, "Boeing Supplier to Lay Off 2,800 in New Risk for 737 Max Future," 5 May 2020 With demand for flying collapsing over the past month as the coronavirus blitzed across the U.S., carriers have been careful about making flying more onerous or inconvenient. oregonlive, "JetBlue becomes first U.S. airline to require passengers to wear face masks in response to coronavirus pandemic," 28 Apr. 2020 Nearly 64,000 Americans have been brought home from 117 countries on these flights so far this year—with more flying back every day. Ramsey Qubein, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Do Repatriation Flights Work?," 23 Apr. 2020

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

10 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Flying.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for flying


How to pronounce flying (audio)

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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