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fleet

2
[fleet]
adjective, fleet·er, fleet·est.
  1. swift; rapid: to be fleet of foot; a fleet horse.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to move swiftly; fly.
  2. Nautical. to change position; shift.
  3. Archaic.
    1. to glide along like a stream.
    2. to fade; vanish.
  4. Obsolete. to float; drift; swim.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to cause (time) to pass lightly or swiftly.
  2. Nautical.
    1. to move or change the position of.
    2. to separate the blocks of (a tackle).
    3. to lay (a rope) along a deck.
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Origin of fleet

2
before 900; Middle English fleten to be fleet, Old English flēotan to float; see float
Related formsfleet·ly, adverbfleet·ness, noun

Synonyms for fleet

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for fleeter

speedy, armada, navy, squadron, flotilla, rapid, brisk, flying, fast, swift, barreling, winged, screaming, formation, line, argosy, vessels, tonnage, agile, breakneck

Examples from the Web for fleeter

Historical Examples of fleeter

  • Fleet of foot were Hagen and the King, yet fleeter still was Siegfried.

    Stories of Siegfried

    Mary MacGregor

  • No one can run away from his fate, were he fleeter than the wind.

    Modern Icelandic Plays

    Jhann Sigurjnsson

  • He was as fleet as a mountain deer, but the rifle-ball was fleeter.

  • The boys were fleeter of foot, but Farmer Ellison knew the ground.

    The Rival Campers Ashore

    Ruel Perley Smith

  • Broomsticks, Bertram—but in their day there were no fleeter limbs in Rugby.

    Miss Primrose

    Roy Rolfe Gilson


British Dictionary definitions for fleeter

fleet

1
noun
  1. a number of warships organized as a tactical unit
  2. all the warships of a nation
  3. a number of aircraft, ships, buses, etc, operating together or under the same ownership
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Word Origin for fleet

Old English flēot ship, flowing water, from flēotan to float

fleet

2
adjective
  1. rapid in movement; swift
  2. poetic fleeting; transient
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verb
  1. (intr) to move rapidly
  2. (intr) archaic to fade away smoothly; glide
  3. (tr) nautical
    1. to change the position of (a hawser)
    2. to pass (a messenger or lead) to a hawser from a winch for hauling in
    3. to spread apart (the blocks of a tackle)
  4. (intr) obsolete to float or swim
  5. (tr) obsolete to cause (time) to pass rapidly
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Derived Formsfleetly, adverbfleetness, noun

Word Origin for fleet

probably Old English flēotan to float, glide rapidly; related to Old High German fliozzan to flow, Latin pluere to rain

fleet

3
noun
  1. mainly Southeast English a small coastal inlet; creek
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Word Origin for fleet

Old English flēot flowing water; see fleet 1

Fleet

noun the Fleet
  1. a stream that formerly ran into the Thames between Ludgate Hill and Fleet Street and is now a covered sewer
  2. Also called: Fleet Prison (formerly) a London prison, esp used for holding debtors
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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

Word Origin and History for fleeter

fleet

adj.

"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.

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fleet

v.

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.

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fleet

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper