flying

1 of 2

adjective

fly·​ing ˈflī-iŋ How to pronounce flying (audio)
1
a
: 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

flying

2 of 2

noun

1
: travel by air
2
: the operation of an aircraft or spacecraft
Phrases
with flying colors
: with complete or eminent success

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Should conditions clear up to allow for safer flying conditions, the sheriff’s department will utilize its ASTREA unit to conduct an aerial search. Anna Lazarus Caplan, Peoplemag, 7 Feb. 2024 This is roughly the same flying speed of the great California Condor and far faster than the flying speed of a common backyard bird like a sparrow. Paul M. Sutter, Discover Magazine, 11 Dec. 2023 Social media users have suggested the small flying objects were Skittles candy. Janelle Ash, Fox News, 3 July 2023 As cars finished their final flying laps, Will Power – who on Saturday made his first Fast Six of the season – jumped from 6th to 1st, just seconds before Felix Rosenqvist, who crashed in the morning’s practice and required a backup car, went from 5th to 1st. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 15 July 2023 Kirby could not say for sure if the second flying object belonged to China. Asher Notheis, Washington Examiner, 11 Feb. 2023 Interest in these encounters has also increased due to the recent mysterious flying objects spotted in American airspace, including a Chinese spy balloon that was detected over Montana in February. Denise Chow, NBC News, 31 May 2023 Despite her best efforts to evict the winged intruders, the vultures have refused to leave her property this week, in an uneasy turf war that marks an unusual episode for North America’s largest flying bird. Washington Post, 7 May 2021 Dating to more than 150 million years ago, the pterosaur holds pride of place as the largest flying reptile yet discovered in Australia. Stephen C. George, Discover Magazine, 24 Jan. 2023
Noun
Safety and comfort For the many Americans who see their pets practically as family members, one of the most challenging aspects of flying is ensuring their animal's comfort and safety. Anne Marie Lee, CBS News, 5 Apr. 2024 People with a fear of flying tend to struggle with worry and anxiety anyway, in some form, in day-to-day life. Olivia Morelli, Condé Nast Traveler, 26 Mar. 2024 However, other forms of flying are not nearly as safe. Chris Isidore, CNN, 24 Mar. 2024 The first is that although air safety is getting markedly better over time, the experience of flying is arguably worse than ever. Charlie Warzel, The Atlantic, 20 Mar. 2024 Guillermo’s love of flying meant that, for him, the four-hour journey across the country was part of the fun. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, 23 Feb. 2024 Tucked in the massive government funding package signed Saturday by President Biden is a provision banning the flying of LGBTQ Pride flags over U.S. embassies. CBS News, 23 Mar. 2024 Another requires future councils to unanimously approve the raising of flags, other than government or military flags, on city property — a continuation of the council’s action last year that effectively banned the flying of the Pride flag. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 21 Mar. 2024 Despite two high-profile incidents this year – the Alaska Airlines decompression over the weekend and Japan Airlines’ fiery crash earlier last week – flying is still seen as a very safe way to travel. Zach Wichter, USA TODAY, 8 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'flying.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Noun

1548, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near flying

Cite this Entry

“Flying.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flying. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

flying

adjective
fly·​ing
ˈflī-iŋ
1
a
: moving or made by moving rapidly
a flying leap
b
: hasty sense 1a
a flying visit
2
: ready to move or act quickly
a flying squad car

More from Merriam-Webster on flying

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!