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fleeting

[flee-ting]
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adjective
  1. passing swiftly; vanishing quickly; transient; transitory: fleeting beauty; a fleeting glance.
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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

Synonyms

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

Related Words

momentarilytemporarilyquicklyhastilyfleetinglytransiently

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.

  • Valiant was the flier, but far mightier he who fleetingly pursued him.

  • He kissed her briefly, fleetingly, and returned to the paper.

  • Only fleetingly visible for a while, she finally seemed to have sunk into the earth.

    Delusion and Dream

    Wilhelm Jensen


British Dictionary definitions for fleetingly

fleeting

adjective
  1. rapid and transienta fleeting glimpse of the sea
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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

fleeting

adj.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper