noun, often attributive
\ ˈwiŋ How to pronounce wing (audio) \
plural wings

Definition of wing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : one of the movable feathered or membranous paired appendages by means of which a bird, bat, or insect is able to fly also : such an appendage (as of an ostrich) even though rudimentary or modified so no longer having the power of flight
b : any of various anatomical structures (as of a flying fish or flying lemur) providing means of limited flight
2 : an appendage or part resembling a wing in appearance, position, or function: such as
a : a device worn under the arms to aid a person in swimming or staying afloat water wings
b : ala
c : a turned-back or extended edge on an article of clothing
d : a sidepiece at the top of an armchair
e(1) : a foliaceous, membranous, or woody expansion of a plant especially along a stem or on a samara or capsule
(2) : either of the two lateral petals of a papilionaceous flower — compare keel sense 2b
f : a vane of a windmill or arrow
g : sail
h : an airfoil that develops a major part of the lift which supports a heavier-than-air aircraft
i chiefly British : fender sense d
3 : a means of flight or rapid progress
4 : the act or manner of flying : flight take wing
5 : a side or outlying region or district
6 : a part or feature of a building usually projecting from and subordinate to the main or central part the servants' wing
7a : one of the pieces of scenery at the side of a stage
b wings plural : the area at the side of the stage out of sight
8a : a left or right section of an army or fleet : flank
b : one of the offensive positions or players on either side of a center position in certain team sports also : flanker
9a : either of two opposing groups within an organization or society : faction
b : a section of an organized body (such as a legislative chamber) representing a group or faction holding distinct opinions or policies — compare left wing, right wing
10a : a unit of the U.S. Air Force higher than a group and lower than a division
b : two or more squadrons of naval airplanes
11 : a dance step marked by a quick outward and inward rolling glide of one foot
12 wings plural : insignia consisting of an outspread pair of stylized bird's wings which are awarded on completion of prescribed training to a qualified pilot, aircrew member, or military balloon pilot
in the wings
1 : out of sight in the stage wings
2 : close at hand in the background : readily available had a plan waiting in the wings
on the wing
1 : in flight : flying
2 : in motion
under one's wing
: under one's protection : in one's care took her under his wing


winged; winging; wings

Definition of wing (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to fit with wings
b : to enable to fly or move swiftly
2a : to traverse with or as if with wings
b : to effect or achieve by flying
3 : to let fly : dispatch would start to wing punches— A. J. Liebling
4a : to wound in the wing : disable the wing of winged the duck
b : to wound (as with a bullet) without killing winged by a sniper
5 : to do or perform without preparation or guidelines : improvise winging it

intransitive verb

: to go with or as if with wings : fly often used with it winged it to Europe

Illustration of wing

Illustration of wing


wing 1a: parts of a bird's wing 1 coverts, 2 primaries, 3 secondaries

In the meaning defined above

Other Words from wing


wingy \ ˈwiŋ-​ē How to pronounce wing (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for wing

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of wing in a Sentence

Noun In the library's north wing, you'll find the current periodicals. She works in the pediatric wing of the hospital. The guest room is in the east wing. Verb The team winged to Moscow for the finals. She winged the ball over to first base. The soldier was winged by a stray bullet.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The 6-foot-6 wing was signed by the Detroit Pistons from their G League affiliate on a 10-day hardship contract Dec. 28. Ben Steele, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 17 Jan. 2022 There were too many wing players and not enough minutes. Stefan Bondy,, 16 Jan. 2022 There are times when an opposing guard or wing has been able to score with reckless abandon in a flow state and nothing the Jazz can do to stop it. The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Jan. 2022 The numbers that Dabnichki and his colleagues found clarify how these birds made these adaptations in their wing structure that allowed for better swimming at the expense of their ability to fly, Clarke said. Joshua Learn | Inside Science, ABC News, 16 Jan. 2022 The 6-6 wing had 21 points in a rout of No.1-ranked Gilbert Perry on Friday. Richard Obert, The Arizona Republic, 16 Jan. 2022 July 7, 2003 - During a test, a chunk of foam blows open a 16-inch hole in a mock-up of the shuttle wing. CNN, 16 Jan. 2022 The milestone, achieved on a 3-pointer during a dominant performance in which VanderWal had 32 points and 17 rebounds, was the latest in a career of highs and lows for the 6-foot-7 wing. Steve Millar,, 15 Jan. 2022 The brand's exciting long-lean silhouette was accentuated by long, dragging wing-like hems on close-fitting trousers. Colleen Barry, ajc, 15 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Espo was one of the great goal-scoring centers in history, and Pederson, a natural center, would have to switch to wing alongside Middleton. Matt Porter,, 24 Dec. 2021 Then, the Suns made a draft-night trade sending the rights to Zhaire Smith and an unprotected 2021 first-round pick from the Miami Heat to the Philadelphia 76ers for wing Mikal Bridges. Evan Sidery, Forbes, 1 Oct. 2021 The only positional outlier is wing Vince Carter, who averaged at least 8 points only once during his final six seasons. Rusty Simmons, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Oct. 2021 Center Deandre Ayton, 23, and wing Mikal Bridges, 25, are among the best young players at their positions. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, 17 Oct. 2021 Trying to wing it could mean leaving a lot of value on the table only to benefit the buyer. Jay Jung, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 The deployments usually last several weeks, and then the three big bombers will wing their way back to Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 14 Sep. 2021 And don’t just wing it; create a document that can be reviewed and edited. Washington Post, 7 July 2021 In Mosti, McNair has a QB who can wing it, moving Tigers to offer some spread offense. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Aug. 2021

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


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


1591, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for wing


Middle English winge, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Danish & Swedish vinge wing; akin to Sanskrit vāti it blows — more at wind entry 1

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Time Traveler for wing

Time Traveler

The first known use of wing was in the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near wing



wing and wing

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Statistics for wing

Last Updated

19 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for wing



English Language Learners Definition of wing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a part of an animal's body that is used for flying or gliding
: the wing of a bird and especially a chicken eaten as food
: one of usually two long, flat parts of an airplane that extend from the sides and make it possible for the airplane to fly



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

: to travel to a place by flying there
: to throw (something) forcefully
: to touch or hit (someone or something) especially in the arm or wing while moving past : graze


\ ˈwiŋ How to pronounce wing (audio) \

Kids Definition of wing

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one of the paired movable feathered or membranous parts with which a bird, bat, or insect flies
2 : something like a wing in appearance, use, or motion the wings of an airplane
3 : a part (as of a building) that sticks out from the main part
4 : a division of an organization
5 wings plural : an area just off the stage of a theater
on the wing
: in flight

Other Words from wing

wingless \ -​ləs \ adjective
winglike \ -​ˌlīk \ adjective


winged; winging

Kids Definition of wing (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to move by means of wings : fly
2 : throw entry 1 sense 1 I'd … wing a dart at the closest bull's-eye.— Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Loses Control


\ ˈwiŋ How to pronounce wing (audio) \

Medical Definition of wing

1 : one of the movable feathered or membranous paired appendages by means of which a bird, bat, or insect is able to fly
2 : a winglike anatomical part or process : ala especially : any of the four winglike processes of the sphenoid bone — see greater wing, lesser wing

Other Words from wing

winged \ ˈwiŋd How to pronounce wing (audio) , ˈwiŋ-​əd How to pronounce wing (audio) \ adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on wing

Nglish: Translation of wing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wing for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about wing


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