wing

1 of 2

noun

plural wings
often attributive
1
a
: 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
7
a
: 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
8
a
: 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
9
a
: 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
10
a
: 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
wingy adjective

Illustration of wing

Illustration of wing
  • parts of a bird's wing 1 coverts
  • 2 primaries
  • 3 secondaries

wing

2 of 2

verb

winged; winging; wings

transitive verb

1
a
: to fit with wings
b
: to enable to fly or move swiftly
2
a
: 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
4
a
: 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
Phrases
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

Example Sentences

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 sculpture, undergoing renovation at Austin Finishing in Cleveland, should be ready to tee mounted at the entrance to the school’s Performing Arts wing, in the spring of 2023. Rich Heileman, cleveland, 25 Nov. 2022 The incoming government looks to be the most right-wing in Israel’s history, forcing Netanyahu into a diplomatic balancing act between his coalition and Western allies. Reuters, NBC News, 25 Nov. 2022 The Flying Jets’ wing-T offense produces 316.4 rushing yards per game, led by junior fullback Keegan Bluhm (1,488 rushing yards, 18 touchdowns). The Indianapolis Star, 25 Nov. 2022 Guests can choose any three favorite wing flavors for a platter ($29-$32), or get individual dishes. The Courier-Journal, 25 Nov. 2022 Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes and four other members of the right-wing militia group face the most serious charges brought so far in relation to the attack on the Capitol, chief among them a seditious conspiracy charge. Jane Onyanga-omara Steve Coogan Usa Today, USA TODAY, 22 Nov. 2022 Scandal has reached a full boil at America's Frontline Doctors—the right-wing pseudo-medical group notorious for peddling bogus COVID-19 treatments and fear-mongering over vaccines and other safe, effective health measures. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 15 Nov. 2022 Project Veritas, described as a far right-wing activist group, was created by conservative James O’Keefe in 2011. Hartford Courant, 11 Nov. 2022 What Turner didn’t know at the time was that this simple notification to the USPS would enmesh him in a scheme dreamed up by a right-wing activist group called True the Vote that ended up challenging the voter registrations of 364,000 Georgians. Dhruv Mehrotra, WIRED, 8 Nov. 2022
Verb
And plenty of diners would still rather secure a spot outside, rather than wing it and have to spend a night breathing other people’s air. Ali Francis, Bon Appétit, 19 Sep. 2022 Despite my initially chaotic approach of just trying to wing it, the lounge's very funny bartenders, Chris and Keeli, valiantly kept trying to teach me how to play properly. Lauren Morgan, EW.com, 8 Sep. 2022 There’s never any gray area, McNulty said, and Jurkovec is never going to wing anything or leave out any possible wrinkle. Trevor Hass, BostonGlobe.com, 26 Aug. 2022 Repertory is usually so familiar that the orchestra can wing it if necessary. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2022 Plan some time to just wing it and enjoy each other's company. Carly Caramanna, Travel + Leisure, 16 June 2022 Even with an injury to wing Sophie Cunningham, the team’s chemistry has improved immensely. Jenna Ortiz, The Arizona Republic, 20 June 2022 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 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.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1591, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

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

Dictionary Entries Near wing

Cite this Entry

“Wing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wing. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

wing 1 of 2

noun

1
: one of the movable feathered or membranous paired appendages by means of which a bird, bat, or insect flies
2
: an extension or part resembling a wing in shape, appearance, or position
especially : a flat or broadly expanded plant or animal part
a stem with woody wings
3
: an extension from the side of an armchair
4
: a part that extends from the side of an airplane
5
: the act or manner of flying : flight
6
: a part sticking out from a main part
the rear wing of the house
7
plural : the area at the side of the stage out of sight of the audience
8
: one of the positions or players on each side of a center position or line
9
: a particular group within an organization : faction
10
: a unit of a military force and especially an air force
on the wing
: in flight : flying
under one's wing
: under one's protection : in one's care
winged
ˈwiŋd
ˈwiŋ-əd
adjective
winglike
-ˌlīk
adjective

wing

2 of 2

verb

1
: to pass through in flight
2
: to go with or as if with wings : fly
3
: to wound in the wing
wing a duck
also : to wound without killing
wing a deer
4
: to do or perform without preparation or guidelines
wing it

Medical Definition

wing

noun

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
winged adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on wing

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