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

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 for fleeting

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

Related Words for fleetingly

momentarily, temporarily, quickly, hastily, transiently

Examples from the Web for fleetingly

Contemporary Examples of fleetingly

Historical Examples of fleetingly

  • "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



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