[ flee-ting ]
/ ˈfli tɪŋ /


passing swiftly; vanishing quickly; transient; transitory: fleeting beauty; a fleeting glance.

Nearby words

  1. fleet ballistic missile submarine,
  2. fleet chief petty officer,
  3. fleet rate,
  4. fleet street,
  5. fleet-footed,
  6. fleetingly,
  7. fleetly,
  8. fleetwood,
  9. flegel's disease,
  10. flegenheimer

Origin of fleeting

Middle English word dating back to 1325–75; see origin at fleet2, -ing2

Related formsfleet·ing·ly, adverbfleet·ing·ness, nounun·fleet·ing, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fleetingly

British Dictionary definitions for fleetingly


/ (ˈfliːtɪŋ) /


rapid and transienta fleeting glimpse of the sea
Derived Formsfleetingly, adverbfleetingness, 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

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