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[flit] /flɪt/
verb (used without object), flitted, flitting.
to move lightly and swiftly; fly, dart, or skim along:
bees flitting from flower to flower.
to flutter, as a bird.
to pass quickly, as time:
hours flitting by.
Chiefly Scot. and North England.
  1. to depart or die.
  2. to change one's residence.
verb (used with object), flitted, flitting.
Chiefly Scot. to remove; transfer; oust or dispossess.
a light, swift movement; flutter.
Scot. and North England. a change of residence; instance of moving to a new address.
Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a male homosexual.
Origin of flit
1150-1200; Middle English flitten < Old Norse flytja to carry, convey, Swedish flytta. See fleet2
Related forms
flittingly, adverb
1. See fly1 . Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for flit
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • How they flit about, imps of evil as they are, and sound their horn of defiance in our ear!

  • She and her mother had to flit so often—suddenly, noiselessly.

    Ten American Girls From History Kate Dickinson Sweetser
  • With yours so nearly ready to flit, no change in size is indicated now.

    The Galaxy Primes Edward Elmer Smith
  • It was so still that the flit of a wing was almost startling.

    Little Brothers of the Air Olive Thorne Miller
  • Silent, inscrutable, they flit through the American scene, alien to the last.

    A Wayfarer in China Elizabeth Kendall
  • Now he saw one or two flit across the sunny glade in advance.

    Middy and Ensign G. Manville Fenn
  • But the sopranos who did it flit across this planet like angels.

  • She liked to flit out after him when he was going to church at night.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
  • But Darrow's face was unstirred save by the flit of his half-amused smile.

    The Reef Edith Wharton
British Dictionary definitions for flit


verb (intransitive) flits, flitting, flitted
to move along rapidly and lightly; skim or dart
to fly rapidly and lightly; flutter
to pass quickly; fleet: a memory flitted into his mind
(Scot & Northern English, dialect) to move house
(Brit, informal) to depart hurriedly and stealthily in order to avoid obligations
an informal word for elope
the act or an instance of flitting
(slang, mainly US) a male homosexual
(Brit, informal) a hurried and stealthy departure in order to avoid obligations (esp in the phrase do a flit)
Derived Forms
flitter, noun
Word Origin
C12: from Old Norse flytja to carry
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 flit

c.1200, flutten "convey, move, take, carry away, go away," perhaps from Old Norse flytja "to remove, bring."

Theire desire ... is to goe to theire newe masters eyther on a Tewsday, or on a Thursday; for ... they say Munday flitte, Neaver sitte. [Henry Best, farming & account book, 1641]
Related: Flitted; flitting. As a noun, from 1835.

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



A male homosexual; effeminate man (1940s+)

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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