Nearby words

  1. flux linkage,
  2. flux, magnetic,
  3. fluxion,
  4. fluxionary hyperemia,
  5. fluxmeter,
  6. fly agaric,
  7. fly ash,
  8. fly at,
  9. fly ball,
  10. fly blind


Origin of fly

before 900; Middle English flīen, Old English flēogan; cognate with Old High German fliogan, German fliegen, Old Norse fljuga

1. Fly, flit, flutter, hover, soar refer to moving through the air as on wings. Fly is the general term: Birds fly. Airplanes fly. To flit is to make short rapid flights from place to place: A bird flits from tree to tree. To flutter is to agitate the wings tremulously, either without flying or in flying only short distances: A young bird flutters out of a nest and in again. To hover is to linger in the air, or to move over or about something within a narrow area or space: hovering clouds; a hummingbird hovering over a blossom. To soar is to (start to) fly upward to a great height usually with little advance in any other direction, or else to (continue to) fly at a lofty height without visible movement of the wings: Above our heads an eagle was soaring.

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

British Dictionary definitions for fly out


/ (flaɪ) /

verb flies, flying, flew or flown

noun plural flies

Derived Formsflyable, adjective

Word Origin for fly

Old English flēogan; related to Old Frisian fliāga, Old High German fliogan, Old Norse fljūga


/ (flaɪ) /

noun plural flies

Derived Formsflyless, adjective

Word Origin for fly

Old English flēoge; related to Old Norse fluga Old High German flioga; see fly 1


/ (flaɪ) /

adjective flyer or flyest slang

mainly British knowing and sharp; smart
mainly Scot furtive or sneaky


on the fly mainly Scot in secret; sneakily

Word Origin for fly

C19: of uncertain origin

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 fly out
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for fly out


[ flī ]


Any of numerous two-winged insects of the order Diptera.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for fly out


[ flī ]

Any of numerous insects of the order Diptera, having one pair of wings and large compound eyes. Flies include the houseflies, horseflies, and mosquitoes. See more at dipteran.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.