[ flahy-weyt ]
/ ˈflaɪˌweɪt /
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a boxer or other contestant of the lightest competitive class, especially a professional boxer weighing up to 112 pounds (51 kilograms).
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Origin of flyweight

First recorded in 1905–10; fly1 + weight

Words nearby flyweight

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does flyweight mean?

The word flyweight is most commonly used in boxing to refer to the lightest or one of the lightest weight classes—divisions in which all boxers must be under a certain weight limit.

The word is also commonly used to refer to a boxer in this weight class, as in The next bout is between two flyweights. 

The word flyweight is used in these same ways in other sports that have weight classes, such as mixed martial arts, kickboxing, and wrestling.

The specific maximum weight for the flyweight division varies based on the sport, the organization, and whether it applies to men or women.

In amateur and Olympic boxing, the weight limit for the flyweight class is 52 kilograms (114.6 pounds) for men and 51 kilograms (112.4 pounds) for women.

The same or similar limits are used in professional boxing, in which there are also other divisions that use the name flyweight, including mini flyweight (sometimes called strawweight) and light flyweight (both of which are lighter than flyweight) and super flyweight (which is heavier than flyweight).

Weight classes are enforced by weighing competitors before a match at what’s called a weigh-in.

Example: I’m dropping down to flyweight so I need to cut some weight before the next weigh-in.

Where does flyweight come from?

The first records of the word flyweight come from the early 1900s. The word fly refers to the winged insect. The word weight is used in the same way in the names of several other weight classes, including bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, cruiserweight, and heavyweight.

The formalization of weight classes in boxing developed in the mid-1800s. After that, many of the primary weight classes became standard throughout the U.K., the U.S., and internationally.

Did you know … ?

What are some words that share a root or word element with flyweight

What are some words that often get used in discussing flyweight?

How is flyweight used in real life?

The word flyweight can be used to refer to a weight class or a competitor in that weight class. It’s most commonly associated with boxing, but it’s also used in several other sports that use weight classes.

Try using flyweight!

True or False?

Flyweight is the heaviest weight class in boxing.

British Dictionary definitions for flyweight

/ (ˈflaɪˌweɪt) /

  1. a professional boxer weighing not more than 112 pounds (51 kg)
  2. an amateur boxer weighing 48–51 kg (106–112 pounds)
  3. (as modifier)a flyweight contest
(in Olympic wrestling) a wrestler weighing not more than 115 pounds (52 kg)
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