See more synonyms for flit on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), flit·ted, flit·ting.
  1. to move lightly and swiftly; fly, dart, or skim along: bees flitting from flower to flower.
  2. to flutter, as a bird.
  3. to pass quickly, as time: hours flitting by.
  4. Chiefly Scot. and North England.
    1. to depart or die.
    2. to change one's residence.
verb (used with object), flit·ted, flit·ting.
  1. Chiefly Scot. to remove; transfer; oust or dispossess.
  1. a light, swift movement; flutter.
  2. Scot. and North England. a change of residence; instance of moving to a new address.
  3. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a male homosexual.

Origin of flit

1150–1200; Middle English flitten < Old Norse flytja to carry, convey, Swedish flytta. See fleet2
Related formsflit·ting·ly, adverb

Synonyms for flit

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1. See fly1.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for flitting

fleeting, ephemeral, evanescent, temporary

Examples from the Web for flitting

Contemporary Examples of flitting

Historical Examples of flitting

  • Miss Briscoe was flitting about the room, hunting for matches.

  • By the end of October we shall have made our flitting, I suppose.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • We prefer solid dragons of evil to flitting butterflies of sin.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

  • They were 'all ready for the flitting,' and were now wondering why 'Gerry' did not wire them.

    Against Odds

    Lawrence L. Lynch

  • Isobel, flitting here and there like a pretty butterfly, divided her enthusiasm.


    Jane Abbott

British Dictionary definitions for flitting


verb flits, flitting or flitted (intr)
  1. to move along rapidly and lightly; skim or dart
  2. to fly rapidly and lightly; flutter
  3. to pass quickly; fleeta memory flitted into his mind
  4. Scot and Northern English dialect to move house
  5. British informal to depart hurriedly and stealthily in order to avoid obligations
  6. an informal word for elope
  1. the act or an instance of flitting
  2. slang, mainly US a male homosexual
  3. British informal a hurried and stealthy departure in order to avoid obligations (esp in the phrase do a flit)
  4. See moonlight flit
Derived Formsflitter, noun

Word Origin for flit

C12: from Old Norse flytja to carry
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 flitting



c.1200, flutten "convey, move, take, carry away, go away," perhaps from Old Norse flytja "to remove, bring."

Theire desire ... is to goe to theire newe masters eyther on a Tewsday, or on a Thursday; for ... they say Munday flitte, Neaver sitte. [Henry Best, farming & account book, 1641]

Related: Flitted; flitting. As a noun, from 1835.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper