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 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In midfield, pivot and skipper Sergio Busquets sits behind Frenkie de Jong and Pedri as wing backs Jordi Alba and Sergio Roberto, replacing Sergino Dest, pace up and down the pitch. Tom Sanderson, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 The label gained a deal with the Alternative Distribution Alliance, Warner’s indie distribution wing, earlier this year. Elias Leight, Rolling Stone, 14 Sep. 2021 Barnes was backed Tuesday by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, a former presidential candidate and a leader of her party's liberal wing. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 Sep. 2021 While there had been flying wing designs in both Germany during WWII, and in the U.S. after the war (also built by Northrop), neither really resembled the giant black jet in anything other than basic shape. Jeff Bolton, Popular Mechanics, 13 Sep. 2021 Gilmer played halfback at Alabama in single- and double-wing attacks, but the Redskins had made the switch to the T-formation in 1945, and Gilmer played quarterback and halfback for Washington. Mark Inabinett |, al, 12 Sep. 2021 Oculus structure, which simultaneously evokes a dinosaur carcass and a wing taking flight. Peter Debruge, Variety, 12 Sep. 2021 Brad Goldberg managed a strategy that allowed for a front-wing change and avoidable contact penalty but kept them in the conversation for a win that Sunday, putting all of IndyCar notice. Nathan Brown, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Sep. 2021 One wing of the museum had been taken over by the Ministry of Finance, which turned it into a warren of offices., 11 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In Mosti, McNair has a QB who can wing it, moving Tigers to offer some spread offense. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, 11 Aug. 2021 The extra land, where the neighboring house’s front yard had been, allowed for a new family room wing on one side of the kitchen and a more expansive outdoor area. Nancy Keates, WSJ, 24 June 2021 Johnson is, by contrast, a politician with little interest in details, someone more likely to wing it rather than do the necessary preparation. Washington Post, 9 June 2021 Speaking of young guys, one of the most effective adjustments Clippers coach Tyronn Lue made in Game 2 was finally turning to wing Terance Mann off the bench. Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2021 The stunt team rehearsed the terrifying moment for three weeks before shooting, but Blunt decided to wing it on the day. Patrick Ryan, USA Today, 28 May 2021 So when Red Bulls wing back Florian Valot collected a loose ball in his team’s half of the field, Villafaña was ready to pounce on him. Dylan Hernández Columnist, Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2021 Then there's the Portland Trail Blazers, who Wojnarowski is reporting is moving wing Rodney Hood and guard Gary Trent Jr. to Toronto for Norman Powell. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 25 Mar. 2021 However, her strong square to messenger Mercury indicates that a bit of unexpected news or information might wing its way to us early on today. Tarot Astrologers,, 22 Jan. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near wing



wing and wing

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Statistics for wing

Last Updated

16 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for wing



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


\ 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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