[ flahy ]
/ flaɪ /
verb (used without object), flew or for 11, 19, flied, flown, fly·ing.
to move through the air using wings.
to be carried through the air by the wind or any other force or agency: bits of paper flying about.
to float or flutter in the air: flags flying in the breeze.
to travel in an aircraft or spacecraft.
to move suddenly and quickly; start unexpectedly: He flew from the room.
to change rapidly and unexpectedly from one state or position to another: The door flew open.
to flee; escape.
to travel in space: The probe will fly past the planet.
to move or pass swiftly: How time flies!
to move with an aggressive surge: A mother fox will fly at anyone approaching her kits.
- to bat a fly ball: He flied into right field.
- to fly out.
Informal. to be acceptable, believable, or feasible: It seemed like a good idea, but it just wouldn't fly.
verb (used with object), flew or for 11, 19, flied, flown, fly·ing.
to make (something) float or move through the air: to fly a kite.
to operate (an aircraft, spacecraft, or the like).
to hoist aloft, as for display, signaling, etc.: to fly a flag.
to operate an aircraft or spacecraft over: to fly the Pacific.
to transport or convey by air: We fly merchandise to Boston.
to escape from; flee: to fly someone's wrath.
- to hang (scenery) above a stage by means of rigging supported by the gridiron.
- to raise (scenery) from the stage or acting area into the flies.
noun, plural flies.
a strip of material sewn along one edge of a garment opening for concealing buttons, zippers, or other fasteners.
a flap forming the door of a tent.
Also called tent fly. a piece of canvas extending over the ridgepole of a tent and forming an outer roof.
an act of flying; a flight.
the course of a flying object, as a ball.
Baseball. fly ball.
British. a light, covered, public carriage drawn by one horse; hansom; hackney coach.
Machinery. a horizontal arm, weighted at each end, that pivots about the screw of a press so that when the screw is lowered the momentum of the fly will increase the force of the press.
Also called fan. Horology. a regulating device for chime and striking mechanisms, consisting of an arrangement of vanes on a revolving axis.
- (in some presses) the apparatus for removing the printed sheets to the delivery table.
- Also called flyboy. (formerly) a printer's devil employed to remove printed sheets from a press.
(on a flag)
- the horizontal dimension of a flag as flown from a vertical staff.
- the end of the flag farther from the staff.Compare hoist(def 7).
flies. Also called fly loft. Theater. the space above the stage used chiefly for storing scenery and equipment.
Nautical. a propellerlike device streamed to rotate and transfer information on speed to a mechanical log.
fly out, Baseball, Softball. to be put out by hitting a fly ball that is caught by a player of the opposing team.
- to operate an airplane, especially during conditions of poor visibility, relying solely on instruments for guidance.
- to proceed with a complex task in the absence of directions by using one's own ability to determine what procedures to follow.
fly in the face of, to act in defiance of (authority, custom, etc.).Also fly in the teeth of.
- to put up with or get used to matters as they stand.
- to confine oneself to one's own affairs.
- to cease being a nuisance: If she gets mad enough she'll tell me to go fly a kite.
- to hurl or propel (a weapon, missile, etc.).
- to give free rein to an emotion: She let fly with a barrage of angry words.
- during flight; before falling to the ground: to catch a baseball on the fly.
- hurriedly; without pausing: We had dinner on the fly.
fly off the handle. handle(def 16).
go fly a kite, Slang.
on the fly,
Origin of fly1
before 900; Middle English flīen, Old English flēogan; cognate with Old High German fliogan, German fliegen, Old Norse fljuga
SYNONYMS FOR fly
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.
fly·a·ble, adjectivefly·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·fly·a·ble, adjectivere·fly·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for fly-loft (1 of 3)
/ (flaɪ) /
verb flies, flying, flew or flown
(intr) (of birds, aircraft, etc) to move through the air in a controlled manner using aerodynamic forces
to travel over (an area of land or sea) in an aircraft
to operate (an aircraft or spacecraft)
to float, flutter, or be displayed in the air or cause to float, etc, in this wayto fly a kite; they flew the flag
to transport or be transported by or through the air by aircraft, wind, etc
(intr) to move or be moved very quickly, forcibly, or suddenlyshe came flying towards me; the door flew open
(intr) to pass swiftlytime flies
to escape from (an enemy, place, etc); fleehe flew the country
(intr; may be foll by at or upon) to attack a person
(intr) to have a sudden outbursthe flew into a rage again
(intr) (of money, etc) to vanish rapidly
(tr) falconry (of hawks) to fly at (quarry) in attackperegrines fly rooks
(tr) theatre to suspend (scenery) above the stage so that it may be lowered into view
fly a kite
- to procure money by an accommodation bill
- to release information or take a step in order to test public opinion
fly high informal
- to have a high aim
- to prosper or flourish
fly in the face of See face (def. 19)
fly off the handle informal to lose one's temper
fly the coop US and Canadian informal to leave suddenly
go fly a kite US and Canadian informal go away
let fly informal
- to lose one's temper (with a person)she really let fly at him
- to shoot or throw (an object)
noun plural flies
Also called: fly front (often plural) a closure that conceals a zip, buttons, or other fastening, by having one side overlapping, as on trousers
Also called: fly sheet
- a flap forming the entrance to a tent
- a piece of canvas drawn over the ridgepole of a tent to form an outer roof
a small air brake used to control the chiming of large clocks
the horizontal weighted arm of a fly press
- the outer edge of a flag
- the distance from the outer edge of a flag to the staffCompare hoist (def. 9)
British a light one-horse covered carriage formerly let out on hire
Australian and NZ an attemptI'll give it a fly
- a device for transferring printed sheets from the press to a flat pile
- Also called: flyhand a person who collects and stacks printed matter from a printing press
- a piece of paper folded once to make four pages, with printing only on the first page
(plural) theatre the space above the stage out of view of the audience, used for storing scenery, etc
rare the act of flying
Derived Formsflyable, adjective
Word Origin for fly
Old English flēogan; related to Old Frisian fliāga, Old High German fliogan, Old Norse fljūga
British Dictionary definitions for fly-loft (2 of 3)
/ (flaɪ) /
noun plural flies
any dipterous insect, esp the housefly, characterized by active flightSee also horsefly, blowfly, tsetse fly, crane fly
any of various similar but unrelated insects, such as the caddis fly, firefly, dragonfly, and chalcid fly
angling a lure made from a fish-hook dressed with feathers, tinsel, etc, to resemble any of various flies or nymphs: used in fly-fishingSee also dry fly, wet fly
(in southern Africa) an area that is infested with the tsetse fly
drink with the flies Australian slang to drink alone
fly in amber See amber (def. 2)
fly in the ointment informal a slight flaw that detracts from value, completeness, or enjoyment
fly on the wall a person who watches others, while not being noticed himself or herself
there are no flies on him informal he is no fool
Derived Formsflyless, adjective
Word Origin for fly
Old English flēoge; related to Old Norse fluga Old High German flioga; see fly 1
British Dictionary definitions for fly-loft (3 of 3)
/ (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
Medicine definitions for fly-loft
[ 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-loft
[ 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.