vo·​lant | \ ˈvō-lənt How to pronounce volant (audio) \

Definition of volant

1 : having the wings extended as if in flight used of a heraldic bird
2 : flying or capable of flying
3 : quick, nimble

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Did You Know?

English picked up "volant" from Middle French. The term survives in Modern French as well, both as an adjective having essentially the same meaning as the English term, and as a noun with several meanings (among them "shuttlecock"). The influence of French can be seen doubly in the heraldic sense of "volant": in heraldic contexts the adjective "volant" almost always appears after the noun - a syntax picked up from French along with the meaning. Ultimately, "volant" comes from the Latin verb volare, meaning "to fly." Another word that came to English through Middle French from volare is "volley," which refers to things flying back and forth through the air.

Examples of volant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And being not only large but also volant might have been particularly costly, because big fliers tend to rely on soaring flight for much of their travel. Michael B. Habib, Scientific American, "Pterosaurs Were Monsters of the Mesozoic Skies," 1 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'volant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of volant

1572, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for volant

Middle French, from Latin volant-, volans, present participle of volare to fly

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Cite this Entry

“Volant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/volant. Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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