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[fling] /flɪŋ/
verb (used with object), flung, flinging.
to throw, cast, or hurl with force or violence:
to fling a stone.
to move (oneself) violently with impatience, contempt, or the like:
She flung herself angrily from the room.
to put suddenly or violently:
to fling a suspect into jail.
to project or speak sharply, curtly, or forcefully:
He flung his answer at the questioner.
to involve (oneself) vigorously in an undertaking.
to move, do, or say (something) quickly:
to fling a greeting in passing.
to send suddenly and rapidly:
to fling fresh troops into a battle.
to throw aside or off.
to throw to the ground, as in wrestling or horseback riding.
verb (used without object), flung, flinging.
to move with haste or violence; rush; dash.
to fly into violent and irregular motions, as a horse; throw the body about, as a person.
to speak harshly or abusively (usually followed by out):
He flung out disgustedly against the whole human race.
an act of flinging.
a short period of unrestrained pursuit of one's wishes or desires:
The week of partying was my last fling before starting a new job.
an attempt at something:
He took a fling at playwriting.
a critical or contemptuous remark; gibe.
Also called Highland fling. a lively Scottish dance characterized by flinging movements of the arms and legs.
Origin of fling
1250-1300; Middle English; compare Swedish flänga to fly, race
Related forms
outfling, verb (used with object), outflung, outflinging. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for flinging
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "Come, petite," said the man, flinging open the carriage doors and lifting the child in his arms to the ground.

    Mlle. Fouchette Charles Theodore Murray
  • The man rose up unsteadily, flinging down the pen as he did so.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace
  • I barely got away from two of them who caught me flinging pebbles at your windows to wake you up.

  • Then he gripped the handle, and, flinging the door open, stepped in.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace
  • "I'm going down," whispered Jeremy, flinging a cautious glance at Helen who was absorbed in her sewing.

    Jeremy Hugh Walpole
  • Captain Winfree said, flinging his swagger-stick toward the calendar.

    The Great Potlatch Riots Allen Kim Lang
  • A peasant soon appeared on the road; he was dancing grotesquely and flinging his arms about with meaningless gestures.

    Autobiography of a YOGI Paramhansa Yogananda
  • “I guess I can smoke,” he said flinging his cigar-case on the table.

    The Cattle-Baron's Daughter Harold Bindloss
British Dictionary definitions for flinging


verb (mainly transitive) flings, flinging, flung (flʌŋ)
to throw, esp with force or abandon; hurl or toss
to put or send without warning or preparation: to fling someone into jail
(also intransitive) to move (oneself or a part of the body) with abandon or speed: he flung himself into a chair
(usually foll by into) to apply (oneself) diligently and with vigour (to)
to cast aside; disregard: she flung away her scruples
to utter violently or offensively
(poetic) to give out; emit
the act or an instance of flinging; toss; throw
a period or occasion of unrestrained, impulsive, or extravagant behaviour: to have a fling
any of various vigorous Scottish reels full of leaps and turns, such as the Highland fling
a trial; try: to have a fling at something different
Derived Forms
flinger, noun
Word Origin
C13: of Scandinavian origin; related to Old Norse flengja to flog, Swedish flänga, Danish flænge
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 flinging



"attempt, attack," early 14c.; see fling (v.). Sense of "period of indulgence on the eve of responsibilities" first attested 1827. Meaning "vigorous dance" (associated with the Scottish Highlands) is from 1806.



c.1300, probably from or related to Old Norse flengja "to flog," of uncertain origin. The Middle English intransitive sense is that suggested by phrase have a fling at "make a try." An obsolete word for "streetwalker, harlot" was fling-stink (1670s). Related: Flung; flinging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for flinging



  1. A period of pleasure and indulgence, often as relaxation after or before stern responsibilities: He had a last fling before going to the monastery (1827+)
  2. A try; crack, go, shot: Will you have a fling at climbing that wall? (1592+)
  3. A dance; party; shindig (1940s+ Students)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with flinging


In addition to the idiom beginning with fling also see: last fling
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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