• synonyms


verb (used with object), flung, fling·ing.
  1. to throw, cast, or hurl with force or violence: to fling a stone.
  2. to move (oneself) violently with impatience, contempt, or the like: She flung herself angrily from the room.
  3. to put suddenly or violently: to fling a suspect into jail.
  4. to project or speak sharply, curtly, or forcefully: He flung his answer at the questioner.
  5. to involve (oneself) vigorously in an undertaking.
  6. to move, do, or say (something) quickly: to fling a greeting in passing.
  7. to send suddenly and rapidly: to fling fresh troops into a battle.
  8. to throw aside or off.
  9. to throw to the ground, as in wrestling or horseback riding.
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verb (used without object), flung, fling·ing.
  1. to move with haste or violence; rush; dash.
  2. to fly into violent and irregular motions, as a horse; throw the body about, as a person.
  3. to speak harshly or abusively (usually followed by out): He flung out disgustedly against the whole human race.
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  1. an act of flinging.
  2. a short period of unrestrained pursuit of one's wishes or desires: The week of partying was my last fling before starting a new job.
  3. an attempt at something: He took a fling at playwriting.
  4. a critical or contemptuous remark; gibe.
  5. Also called Highland fling. a lively Scottish dance characterized by flinging movements of the arms and legs.
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Origin of fling

1250–1300; Middle English; compare Swedish flänga to fly, race
Related formsout·fling, verb (used with object), out·flung, out·fling·ing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for flinging

lob, jerk, dump, hurl, sling, heave, shot, toss, pitch, chuck, cast, peg, firing, essay, splurge, indulgence, affair, rampage, whirl

Examples from the Web for flinging

Contemporary Examples of flinging

Historical Examples of flinging

  • "I will after him," said Aylward, flinging himself into the saddle.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • I've been flinging myself into chasms for fifteen years, and what good has it done?

  • I exclaimed, flinging myself into an armchair, "what does this man want now with me?"

    My Double Life

    Sarah Bernhardt

  • There never was such a chap for flinging himself about and never hurting his bones.

    Barnaby Rudge

    Charles Dickens

  • I gasped, retracing a step, and flinging my hat in a corner.

British Dictionary definitions for flinging


verb flings, flinging or flung (flʌŋ) (mainly tr)
  1. to throw, esp with force or abandon; hurl or toss
  2. to put or send without warning or preparationto fling someone into jail
  3. (also intr) to move (oneself or a part of the body) with abandon or speedhe flung himself into a chair
  4. (usually foll by into) to apply (oneself) diligently and with vigour (to)
  5. to cast aside; disregardshe flung away her scruples
  6. to utter violently or offensively
  7. poetic to give out; emit
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  1. the act or an instance of flinging; toss; throw
  2. a period or occasion of unrestrained, impulsive, or extravagant behaviourto have a fling
  3. any of various vigorous Scottish reels full of leaps and turns, such as the Highland fling
  4. a trial; tryto have a fling at something different
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Derived Formsflinger, noun

Word Origin for fling

C13: of Scandinavian origin; related to Old Norse flengja to flog, Swedish flänga, Danish flænge
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 flinging



"attempt, attack," early 14c.; see fling (v.). Sense of "period of indulgence on the eve of responsibilities" first attested 1827. Meaning "vigorous dance" (associated with the Scottish Highlands) is from 1806.

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c.1300, probably from or related to Old Norse flengja "to flog," of uncertain origin. The Middle English intransitive sense is that suggested by phrase have a fling at "make a try." An obsolete word for "streetwalker, harlot" was fling-stink (1670s). Related: Flung; flinging.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with flinging


In addition to the idiom beginning with fling

  • fling oneself at someone

also see:

  • last fling
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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.