It was fleeter than any horse, and bade defiance to the puny efforts of man to overtake it.
Fleet of foot were Hagen and the King, yet fleeter still was Siegfried.
McLeod made a desperate effort to get into the running, but Willard was fleeter.
He was as fleet as a mountain deer, but the rifle-ball was fleeter.
Instantly she turned, and, fleeter than a deer, made for a point in the stockade some distance from the entrance.
The boys were fleeter of foot, but Farmer Ellison knew the ground.
Broomsticks, Bertram—but in their day there were no fleeter limbs in Rugby.
Ali had taken to his heels and, so far, he had proved that he was fleeter than his pursuer.
She was fleeter than Gerda, she struck harder than Kay, she was trickier than all of them, the beloved girl.
She was younger than Burl—perhaps eighteen—and fleeter of foot.
Old English fleot "ship, raft, floating vessel," from fleotan "to float" (see fleet (v.)). Sense of "naval force" is pre-1200. The Old English word also meant "creek, inlet, flow of water," especially one into the Thames near Ludgate Hill, which lent its name to Fleet Street (home of newspaper and magazine houses, standing for "the English press" since 1882), Fleet prison, etc.
"swift," 1520s, but probably older than the record; apparently from or cognate with Old Norse fliotr "swift," and from the root of fleet (v.)). Related: Fleetness.
Old English fleotan "to float, drift, flow, swim, sail," later (c.1200) "to flow," from Proto-Germanic *fleut- (cf. Old Frisian fliata, Old Saxon fliotan "to flow," Old High German fliozzan "to float, flow," German flieszen "to flow," Old Norse fliota "to float, flow"), from PIE root *pleu- "to flow, run, swim" (see pluvial).
Meaning "to glide away like a stream, vanish imperceptibly" is from c.1200; hence "to fade, to vanish" (1570s). Related: Fleeted; fleeting.