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 entry 2 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The passenger walked out onto the wing of the plane and slid down onto the airfield, police said. Chicago Tribune, 5 May 2022 And when the new wing of 22 gates fully opens in November 2023, travelers will enjoy plenty of new dining and shopping options for their journey. Blake Apgar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 May 2022 All of the guests safely evacuated and no firefighters were seriously injured battling the multiple alarm blaze that broke out shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday in the south wing of the Mount Washington Valley resort, ultimately destroying 75 rooms. Globe Staff,, 3 May 2022 And the far-right, anti-establishment wing of the party now views the first-term congressman with similar skepticism, as someone who is falsely selling himself as a gatekeeper in his state to former President Donald J. Trump. New York Times, 29 Apr. 2022 His district, in Warsaw’s Bialoleka suburb, was one of the city’s fastest-growing, with a large and yet unfilled wing of classrooms. Laura Kingstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2022 But the left must find a way to acknowledge and address that problem, while simultaneously articulating a passion for democracy and pushing back against the ostensibly anti-intervention but pro-authoritarian wing of the GOP. Blaise Malley, The New Republic, 26 Apr. 2022 Crossroads will be displayed in the lower level 1300 wing of the high school. Sue Kiesewetter, The Enquirer, 26 Apr. 2022 Biden’s Democratic Party isn’t capturing the imagination of the progressive wing of the party. Philip Elliott, Time, 26 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Phoenix Suns coach Monty Williams, wing Mikal Bridges and forward Cam Johnson each were named one of three finalists for three different NBA individual awards Sunday. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 17 Apr. 2022 Bruins wing Brad Marchand, who has been slumping lately, had eight shots on goal, but there was no beating DeSmith. Dan Scifo, Hartford Courant, 21 Apr. 2022 Others just wing it and type whatever comes to their mind. Joseph Pisani, WSJ, 19 Jan. 2022 Others just wing it and type whatever comes to their mind. Joseph Pisani, WSJ, 19 Jan. 2022 Glue, energy and athleticism from wing Dalen Terry. Bruce Pascoe, The Arizona Republic, 17 Mar. 2022 Well, not the corpses themselves, but the blow flies, flesh flies, and other squirmy, wriggly things that wing their way to corpses in the minutes and hours after death. Matt Reynolds, Wired, 15 Feb. 2022 Others just wing it and type whatever comes to their mind. Joseph Pisani, WSJ, 19 Jan. 2022 Others just wing it and type whatever comes to their mind. Joseph Pisani, WSJ, 19 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Wing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for wing


\ 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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