wing

noun, often attributive
\ˈwiŋ \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from wing

Noun

wingy \ˈwiŋ-ē \ adjective

Synonyms for wing

Synonyms: Noun

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

Synonyms: Verb

fly, glide, plane, soar

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And the judges who staff those courts are not judges in the common sense, but are employees of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), a wing of the Justice Department. Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, "With 'zero tolerance,' new strain on already struggling immigration courts," 9 July 2018 Moore, a 6-foot-6 wing, is currently playing for USA Basketball's U17 national team in the FIBA World Championships. Langston Wertz Jr., charlotteobserver, "Big Shots, Phenom Hoops updates 2019 NC player rankings. Same guy still on top," 6 July 2018 In Europe, nations like Poland and Hungary, which tore themselves free from behind the Iron Curtain, have been captured anew by nationalist and right-wing governments. Jonathan Bradley, Billboard, "Dream Up the World You're Gonna Live In: How U2's 'Zooropa' Got the Future Wrong, 25 Years Later," 5 July 2018 Right-wing governments have taken power recently in Austria and Italy, while Chancellor Angela Merkel, a guardian of liberal Western values, just agreed to build camps on Germany’s borders to process migrants. Marc Santora, New York Times, "Poland Purges Supreme Court, and Protesters Take to Streets," 3 July 2018 Either way, Trump's pardon is an endorsement of the right-wing, gun-toting, lawbreaking militia that follows the Bundys. Jake Bullinger, Outside Online, "Trump’s Pardon Condones Western Rebellion," 12 July 2018 Tony Rocha will line up on the wing after being used as an emergency centerback a few times this season. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City goalkeeper Joe Bendik benched, lineup changes for Lions," 14 July 2018 Or will Mbappe be allowed to just wait on the wing, and strike like a falcon at Croatia’s goal? John Kass, chicagotribune.com, "Joy of Chicago's Croatians cresting as World Cup final with France approaches," 13 July 2018 The supporters also chanted in support of Tommy Robinson, a controversial right-wing activist who was jailed last month after filming outside a court room. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "In London, pro-Trump counter-protesters hit with abuse, some violence," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The best airlines of 2017 Advertisement When planning your travel, don't wing it! Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "JetBlue attendants who put oxygen mask on bulldog's face saved her life, owners say," 9 July 2018 The best airlines of 2017 Advertisement When planning your travel, don't wing it! Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "JetBlue attendants who put oxygen mask on bulldog's face saved her life, owners say," 9 July 2018 Because really, all of us — all of us — are winging it. Linda Rodriguez Mcrobbie, BostonGlobe.com, "The triumph of gender-neutral ‘adulting’," 7 July 2018 Investigators said the woman's teeth were winged or were slightly rotated on the top and bottom of her mouth. Jose R. Gonzalez, Houston Chronicle, "Louisiana authorities release facial reconstruction of severed head with similarities to HPD case," 27 June 2018 The best airlines of 2017 Advertisement When planning your travel, don't wing it! Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "JetBlue attendants who put oxygen mask on bulldog's face saved her life, owners say," 9 July 2018 The best airlines of 2017 Advertisement When planning your travel, don't wing it! Lisa Gutierrez, kansascity, "JetBlue attendants who put oxygen mask on bulldog's face saved her life, owners say," 9 July 2018 Travolta and Walson were keen on screening Gotti at Cannes, since the iconic festival can produce headines winging their way around the globe. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Gotti': How John Travolta Tried — and Failed — to Save His Passion Project," 18 June 2018 The best airlines of 2017 Advertisement When planning your travel, don't wing it! Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "American Airlines airbus bound for Charlotte diverted to London airport," 25 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about wing

Statistics for wing

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for wing

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

: to throw (something) forcefully

: to touch or hit (someone or something) especially in the arm or wing while moving past

wing

noun
\ˈwiŋ \

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 \

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, ˈwiŋ-əd \ adjective

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on wing

What made you want to look up wing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a state of commotion or excitement

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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