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[flee-ting] /ˈfli tɪŋ/
passing swiftly; vanishing quickly; transient; transitory:
fleeting beauty; a fleeting glance.
Origin of fleeting
Middle English word dating back to 1325-75; See origin at fleet2, -ing2
Related forms
fleetingly, adverb
fleetingness, noun
unfleeting, adjective
passing, flitting, flying, brief, fugitive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fleetingly
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "I don't think that will bother you much now," she whispered, fleetingly.

    The Colors of Space Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Calliope looked at me fleetingly, as if she were measuring my ability to understand.

    Friendship Village Zona Gale
  • Valiant was the flier, but far mightier he who fleetingly pursued him.

    Tales of Fantasy and Fact Brander Matthews
  • He kissed her briefly, fleetingly, and returned to the paper.

    The Sex Life of the Gods Michael Knerr
  • Only fleetingly visible for a while, she finally seemed to have sunk into the earth.

    Delusion and Dream Wilhelm Jensen
  • She turned to him fleetingly a countenance of appeal and perplexity.

    The Power and the Glory Grace MacGowan Cooke
  • I had seen the old burgh once or twice before, fleetingly and with but a stranger's eyes; now it was my home.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • Mike saw the figure—dimly, fleetingly, obscured most of the time by the driving whiteness.

    Unwise Child Gordon Randall Garrett
British Dictionary definitions for fleetingly


rapid and transient: a fleeting glimpse of the sea
Derived Forms
fleetingly, adverb
fleetingness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fleetingly



early 13c., "fickle, shifting, unstable," from Old English fleotende "floating, drifting," later "flying, moving swiftly," from present participle of fleotan (see fleet (v.)). Meaning "existing only briefly" is from 1560s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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