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
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 itwinged 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

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Other Words from wing


wingy \ ˈwiŋ-​ē How to pronounce wingy (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 return of Kyle Ahrens on the wing allowed starter Gabe Brown to play less while battling the flu Wednesday. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "No. 14 Michigan State basketball at Wisconsin: Scouting report, prediction," 1 Feb. 2020 Eventually, after some scrambling, junior guard Matt Coleman spotted teammate Jase Febres on the wing. Nick Moyle,, "Texas holds on to edge TCU," 29 Jan. 2020 The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, on the other hand, can only carry four AMRAAM missiles in an internal weapons bay, a result of its need to fly without missiles and other equipment hanging off its wings to preserve its anti-radar stealth profile. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "After Nearly 20 Years, the Air Force Will Fly Brand New F-15s," 29 Jan. 2020 The max landing weight exists mostly because of structural concerns, such as how strong the landing gear is and the forces on the wings as the plane touches down, Crossley explains. Rob Verger, Popular Science, "Planes dump fuel into the sky more than you’d expect. Here’s why they do it.," 24 Jan. 2020 But as the Blazers continue to navigate significant injuries and limited options on the wing, Bazemore will likely continue to get the call in the starting lineup, regardless of his performance. Jamie Goldberg | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Portland Trail Blazers midseason awards: Damian Lillard continues to lead the way, Hassan Whiteside proves to be key acquisition," 15 Jan. 2020 Hertl stepped into Couture’s role as top-line center with Evander Kane and Labanc on the wings. Ross Mckeon,, "Aaron Dell, Sharks upend Blue Jackets," 9 Jan. 2020 Earlier: Fifth Fatal Crash in 10 Years Revives Concern About Cargo Planes The copilot made two comments about being in an aerodynamic stall, which can cause a dangerous loss of lift on the wings. Alan Levin / Bloomberg, Time, "Pilot in Amazon Cargo Plane Crash Repeatedly Flunked Flight Tests," 21 Dec. 2019 Malik Beasley, Juancho Hernangomez, Torrey Craig and Michael Porter Jr. have all clawed for minutes on the wing. Mike Singer, The Denver Post, "Nuggets Journal: Should Denver make a deal before trade deadline?," 20 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb At that very moment, high over the Pacific Ocean, a Chinese executive named Meng Wanzhou was winging her way from Shenzhen to Mexico. Garrett M. Graff, Wired, "Inside the Feds’ Battle Against Huawei," 16 Jan. 2020 Bell claims that the Nexus craft should be able to wing some 60 miles, hit 150 mph, carry five people total, and do so all with electric propulsion. Rob Verger, Popular Science, "Bell’s sleek new electric air taxi design promises speeds of 150 mph and a 60-mile range," 8 Jan. 2020 Many are winging it through their financial lives without confidence in their ability to afford retirement, an emergency expense or even daily living costs, according to a survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Washington Post, "Millennial Money: Money rules of thumb can be handy," 24 Dec. 2019 Halfway through the fourth quarter against the Rockets, when Houston had nearly closed the gap with Dallas, Dončić winged a pass from behind the arc to Kristaps Porziņģis, on the far side of the basket, below the rim. Louisa Thomas, The New Yorker, "Giving Thanks for Luka Doncic," 26 Nov. 2019 There are other storytellers winging the Cape skies, feeding off its bounty, and occasionally wandering into a scientist’s snare., "A short documentary exploring climate change on Cape Cod," 26 Sep. 2019 Elizabeth Cooney here in snowy Boston, sitting in for Ed Silverman who is winging his way back east to the Pharmalot campus. Elizabeth Cooney, STAT, "Pharmalittle: Drug factories ‘dump it down the drain’; breast cancer drug picked up by AstraZeneca shrinks tumors," 11 Dec. 2019 But, in the front office, Elway also seems intent on winging it. Mark Kiszla, The Denver Post, "Kiszla: Why are the Broncos so afraid of letting rookie quarterback Drew Lock on the field?," 30 Oct. 2019 Now Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake wings its way back to Los Angeles once more, offering audiences the chance to experience its stunning power again, or for the first time. Maureen Lee Lenker,, "Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake," 6 Dec. 2019

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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Statistics for wing

Last Updated

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for wing


How to pronounce wing (audio)

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
US, informal : to throw (something) forcefully
US, informal : to touch or hit (someone or something) especially in the arm or wing while moving past


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

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More from Merriam-Webster on wing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for wing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with wing

Spanish Central: Translation of wing

Nglish: Translation of wing for Spanish Speakers

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

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