wing

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 even though rudimentary if possessed by an animal belonging to a group characterized by 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
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

wing

verb
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

Noun

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

In the meaning defined above

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Other Words from wing

Noun

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

Synonyms for wing

Synonyms: Noun

bloc, block, body, coalition, faction, party, sect, set, side

Synonyms: Verb

aviate, fly, glide, plane, soar

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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

Mr Woidke, who leads a coalition with Die Linke, a left-wing party, has belatedly tried to present the Brandenburg election as a straight fight between his party and the AfD. The tactic may be working: the SPD and AfD are now neck-and-neck in polls. The Economist, "Elections in the east test Germany’s creaky unity government," 31 Aug. 2019 With Hurt, Carey and Moore in the frontcourt and Stanley on the wing, Duke’s freshmen should lead this season’s frontcourt with a slew of veteran reserves to help as needed. Emily Caron, SI.com, "Matthew Hurt Poised to Have a Major Role in Duke's Frontcourt," 30 Aug. 2019 The bar was hosting a May Day gathering attended by some left-wing activists who took part in demonstrations earlier that day. oregonlive, "Judge won’t lower bail for man charged with attacking woman during Patriot Prayer-antifa clash outside Portland bar," 30 Aug. 2019 Most recently, the right-wing leader has instituted a 60-day ban on the setting of any land-clearing fires in the country, according to The Financial Times. Fox News, "Amazon fires produce 220-degree scorched earth, dense smoke in new NASA images," 29 Aug. 2019 As tens of thousands of fires engulfed the Amazon, the European Union threatened to block a landmark trade deal with Brazil and ban imports of Brazilian beef if the country’s right-wing leader, Jair Bolsonaro, didn’t act. Justin Worland, Time, "How Trump Unwittingly Paved the Way for a Climate Change Breakthrough at the G-7," 26 Aug. 2019 Most notably, Medici is a hotbed of thoughtful skepticism towards government, with managers and coders ranging from left-wing anarchists to free-market libertarians. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "A Spy in the House of Byrne—The Ledger," 26 Aug. 2019 Putting aside any pretense toward nuance or complexity, the paper has surrendered to the sensibility of left-wing political activists. J. Brian Charles, Vox, "What the conservative critics of the New York Times’s 1619 Project miss.," 18 Aug. 2019 More headlines: Rand Paul assails 'left-wing mob' and media for portrayal of 2017 assault by his neighbor This story will be updated. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Hazmat situation reported after fire at Ford Assembly Plant," 16 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Athletic’s Christian Caple looks back at Washington’s season-opening victory over Eastern Washington, and the way QB Jacob Eason came out winging it. oregonlive, "Oregon, Oregon State and Portland State all lost, but PSU had the weekend’s best performance: Issues & Answers," 2 Sep. 2019 Precision and detail will lead to far greater success than winging it or trusting others to do their fair share. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: Aug. 22, 2019," 22 Aug. 2019 In one wartime poll, a third of Americans reported wanting to own a plane, so car manufacturers built cars that were winged, wide, and streamlined, with jet-engine trim. Nathan Heller, The New Yorker, "Was the Automotive Era a Terrible Mistake?," 22 July 2019 What was coming was another black swan, winging its way west. John D'anna, azcentral, "For a while in 1983, sheets of plywood were all that kept the mighty Glen Canyon Dam from overflowing," 18 July 2019 Fans wanted Conrad’s winged eyeliner look or the chance to not turn down a trip to Paris while interning at Teen Vogue. Yvonne Villarreal, latimes.com, "‘The Hills’ helped invent the social media influencer. Now what?," 24 June 2019 Tents were pitched on his lawn; retired journalists and overworked lawyers were winging their way into town. Christine Biederman, WIRED, "Inside Backpage.com’s Vicious Battle With the Feds," 18 June 2019 Next, heavily line the top lid with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Perversion, winging out on the end for a sultry cat-eye. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Nathalie Emmanuel and Maisie Williams Both Wore the Urban Decay Game of Thrones Collab," 4 Apr. 2019 For me, travel was all freedom, new places, and, well, winging it. Crystal Paul, The Seattle Times, "A nightmare drive down the Pacific Coast Highway conjures childhood memories," 7 Aug. 2018

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

Noun

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

Verb

1591, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for wing

Noun

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

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Statistics for wing

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wing

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

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More Definitions for wing

wing

noun

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

wing

verb

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

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

wing

noun
\ 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

wing

verb
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

wing

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on wing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wing

Spanish Central: Translation of wing

Nglish: Translation of wing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wing for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about wing

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