Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Fly

Fly

,
Verb.
T.
1.
To cause to fly or to float in the air, as a bird, a kite, a flag, etc.
The brave black flag I
fly
.
W. S. Gilbert.
2.
To fly or flee from; to shun; to avoid.
Sleep
flies
the wretch.
Dryden.
To
fly
the favors of so good a king.
Shakespeare
3.
To hunt with a hawk.
[Obs.]
Bacon.
To fly a kite
(Com.)
,
to raise money on commercial notes.
[Cant or Slang]

Fly

,
Noun.
;
pl.
Flies
(flīz)
.
[OE.
flie
,
flege
, AS.
flȳge
,
fleóge
, fr.
fleógan
to fly; akin to D.
vlieg
, OHG.
flioga
, G.
fliege
, Icel. & Sw.
fluga
, Dan.
flue
. √ 84. See
Fly
,
Verb.
I.
]
1.
(Zool.)
(a)
Any winged insect; esp., one with transparent wings;
as, the Spanish
fly
; fire
fly
; gall
fly
; dragon
fly
.
(b)
Any dipterous insect;
as, the house
fly
; flesh
fly
; black
fly
.
See
Diptera
, and Illust. in Append.
2.
A hook dressed in imitation of a fly, – used for fishing.
“The fur-wrought fly.”
Gay.
3.
A familiar spirit; a witch’s attendant.
[Obs.]
A trifling
fly
, none of your great familiars.
B. Jonson.
4.
A parasite.
[Obs.]
Massinger.
5.
A kind of light carriage for rapid transit, plying for hire and usually drawn by one horse.
[Eng.]
6.
The length of an extended flag from its staff; sometimes, the length from the “union” to the extreme end.
7.
The part of a vane pointing the direction from which the wind blows.
8.
(Naut.)
That part of a compass on which the points are marked; the compass card.
Totten.
9.
(Mech.)
(a)
Two or more vanes set on a revolving axis, to act as a fanner, or to equalize or impede the motion of machinery by the resistance of the air, as in the striking part of a clock.
(b)
A heavy wheel, or cross arms with weights at the ends on a revolving axis, to regulate or equalize the motion of machinery by means of its inertia, where the power communicated, or the resistance to be overcome, is variable, as in the steam engine or the coining press. See
Fly wheel
(below).
10.
(Knitting Machine)
The piece hinged to the needle, which holds the engaged loop in position while the needle is penetrating another loop; a latch.
Knight.
11.
The pair of arms revolving around the bobbin, in a spinning wheel or spinning frame, to twist the yarn.
12.
(Weaving)
A shuttle driven through the shed by a blow or jerk.
Knight.
13.
(a)
Formerly, the person who took the printed sheets from the press.
(b)
A vibrating frame with fingers, attached to a power to a power printing press for doing the same work.
14.
The outer canvas of a tent with double top, usually drawn over the ridgepole, but so extended as to touch the roof of the tent at no other place.
15.
One of the upper screens of a stage in a theater.
16.
The fore flap of a bootee; also, a lap on trousers, overcoats, etc., to conceal a row of buttons.
Black fly
,
Cheese fly
,
Dragon fly, etc.
See under
Black
,
Cheese
, etc.
Fly agaric
(Bot.)
,
a mushroom (
Agaricus muscarius
), having a narcotic juice which, in sufficient quantities, is poisonous.
Fly block
(Naut.)
,
a pulley whose position shifts to suit the working of the tackle with which it is connected; – used in the hoisting tackle of yards.
Fly board
(Printing Press)
,
the board on which printed sheets are deposited by the fly.
Fly book
,
a case in the form of a book for anglers' flies.
Kingsley.
Fly cap
,
a cap with wings, formerly worn by women.
Fly drill
,
a drill having a reciprocating motion controlled by a fly wheel, the driving power being applied by the hand through a cord winding in reverse directions upon the spindle as it rotates backward and forward.
Knight.
Fly fishing
,
the act or art of angling with a bait of natural or artificial flies; fishing using a fly{2} as bait.
Walton.
– –
Fly fisherman
,
one who fishes using natural or artificial flies{2} as bait, especially one who fishes exclusively in that manner.
Fly flap
,
an implement for killing flies.
Fly governor
,
a governor for regulating the speed of an engine, etc., by the resistance of vanes revolving in the air.
Fly honeysuckle
(Bot.)
,
a plant of the honeysuckle genus (
Lonicera
), having a bushy stem and the flowers in pairs, as
L. ciliata
and
L. Xylosteum
.
Fly hook
,
a fishhook supplied with an artificial fly.
Fly leaf
,
an unprinted leaf at the beginning or end of a book, circular, programme, etc.
Fly maggot
,
a maggot bred from the egg of a fly.
Ray.
Fly net
,
a screen to exclude insects.
Fly nut
(Mach.)
,
a nut with wings; a thumb nut; a finger nut.
Fly orchis
(Bot.)
,
a plant (
Ophrys muscifera
), whose flowers resemble flies.
Fly paper
,
poisoned or sticky paper for killing flies that feed upon or are entangled by it.
Fly powder
,
an arsenical powder used to poison flies.
Fly press
,
a screw press for punching, embossing, etc., operated by hand and having a heavy fly.
Fly rail
,
a bracket which turns out to support the hinged leaf of a table.
Fly rod
,
a light fishing rod used in angling with a fly.
Fly sheet
,
a small loose advertising sheet; a handbill.
Fly snapper
(Zool.)
,
an American bird (
Phainopepla nitens
), allied to the chatterers and shrikes.
The male is glossy blue-black; the female brownish gray. –
Fly wheel
(Mach.)
,
a heavy wheel attached to machinery to equalize the movement (opposing any sudden acceleration by its inertia and any retardation by its momentum), and to accumulate or give out energy for a variable or intermitting resistance. See
Fly
,
Noun.
, 9.
On the fly
(Baseball)
,
still in the air; – said of a batted ball caught before touching the ground.
.

Fly

,
Adj.
Knowing; wide awake; fully understanding another's meaning.
[Slang]
Dickens.

Webster 1828 Edition


Fly

FLY

, v.i.
1.
To move through air by the aid of wings, as fowls.
2.
To pass or move in air, by the force of wind or other impulse; as, clouds and vapors fly before the wind. A ball flies from a cannon, an arrow from a bow.
3.
To rise in air, as light substances, by means of a current of air or by having less specific gravity than air, as smoke.
Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward. Job. 5.
4.
To move or pass with velocity or celerity, either on land or water. He flew to the relief of his distressed friend. The ship flies upon the main.
5.
To move rapidly, in any manner; as, a top flies about.
6.
To pass away; to depart; with the idea of haste, swiftness or escape. The bird has flown.
7.
To pass rapidly, as time. Swift fly the fleeting hours.
8.
To part suddenly or with violence; to burst, as a bottle.
9.
To spring by an elastic force.
10.
To pass swiftly, as rumor or report.
11.
To flee; to run away; to attempt to escape; to escape.
I'll fly from shepherds, flocks, and flowery plains.
12.
To flutter; to vibrate or play; as a flag in the wind.
To fly at, to spring towards; to rush on; to fall on suddenly. A hen flies at a dog or cat; a dog flies at a man.
1.
To fly in the face, to insult.
2.
To assail; to resist; to set at defiance; to oppose with violence; to act in direct opposition.
1.
To fly off, to separate or depart suddenly.
2.
To revolt.
To fly open, to open suddenly or with violence; as, the doors flew open.
1.
To fly out, to rush out; also, to burst into a passion.
2.
To break out into license.
3.
To start or issue with violence from any direction.
1.
To let fly, to discharge; to throw or drive with violence; as, to let fly a shower of darts.
2.
In seamanship, to let go suddenly. Let fly the sheets.

FLY

,
Verb.
T.
[This is used for flee, and from is understood after fly, so that it can hardly be called a transitive verb.]
1.
To shun; to avoid; to decline; as, to fly the sight of one we hate. That is, primarily, to flee from
Sleep flies the wretch.
2.
To quit by flight.
3.
To attack by a bird of prey. [Not used.]
4.
To cause to float in the air.

FLY

, n.
1.
In zoology, a winged insect of various species, whose distinguishing characteristic is that the wings are transparent. By this flies are distinguished from beetles, butterflies, grasshoppers, &c. Of flies, some have two wings and others four.
In common language, fly is the house fly, of the genus Musca.
2.
In mechanics, a cross with leaden weights at the ends, or a heavy wheel at right angles with the axis of a windlass, jack or the like. The use of this is, to regulate and equalize the motion in all parts of the revolution of the machine.
3.
That part of a vane which points and shows which way the wind blows.
4.
The extent of an ensign, flag or pendant from the staff to the end that flutters loose in the wind.

Definition 2022


fly

fly

English

Noun

fly (plural flies)

  1. (rural, Scotland, Northern England) A wing.
    The bullet barely grazed the wild fowl's fly.
References

Etymology 2

From Middle English flie, from Old English flȳġe, flēoge (a fly), from Proto-Germanic *fleugǭ (a fly), from Proto-Indo-European *plewk- (to fly). Cognate with Scots flee, Saterland Frisian Fljooge, Dutch vlieg, German Low German Fleeg, German Fliege, Danish flue, Swedish fluga, Icelandic fluga.

Noun

A fly (insect)

fly (plural flies)

  1. (zoology) Any insect of the order Diptera; characterized by having two wings (except for some wingless species), also called true flies.
    • 2012 January 1, Douglas Larson, Runaway Devils Lake”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 1, page 46:
      Devils Lake is where I began my career as a limnologist in 1964, studying the lake’s neotenic salamanders and chironomids, or midge flies. [] The Devils Lake Basin is an endorheic, or closed, basin covering about 9,800 square kilometers in northeastern North Dakota.
  2. (non-technical) Especially, any of the insects of the family Muscidae, such as the common housefly (other families of Diptera include mosquitoes and midges).
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 5, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      When you're well enough off so's you don't have to fret about anything but your heft or your diseases you begin to get queer, I suppose. And the queerer the cure for those ailings the bigger the attraction. A place like the Right Livers' Rest was bound to draw freaks, same as molasses draws flies.
  3. Any similar, but unrelated insect such as dragonfly or butterfly.
  4. (fishing) A lightweight fishing lure resembling an insect.
  5. (weightlifting) A chest exercise performed by moving extended arms from the sides to in front of the chest. (also flye)
  6. (obsolete) A witch's familiar.
    • Ben Jonson
      a trifling fly, none of your great familiars
  7. (obsolete) A parasite.
    • 1636, Massinger, Philip, The Bashful Lover”, in Gifford, William, editor, The Plays of Philip Massinger, Act 1, Scene 1, published 1845, page 470:
      The fly that plays too near the flame burns in it.
  8. (swimming) The butterfly stroke (plural is normally flys)
Hyponyms
Derived terms
Related terms
Translations

External links

Etymology 2

From Middle English flien, from Old English flēogan, from Proto-Germanic *fleuganą (compare Saterland Frisian fljooge, Dutch vliegen, Low German flegen, German fliegen, Danish flyve), from Proto-Indo-European *plewk- (*plew-k-, to fly) (compare Lithuanian plaũkti ‘to swim’), enlargement of *plew- (flow). More at flow.

Verb

fly (third-person singular simple present flies, present participle flying, simple past flew, past participle flown)

  1. (intransitive) To travel through the air, another gas, or a vacuum, without being in contact with a grounded surface.
    • G. K. Chesterton
      Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.
    • 2013 September 7, On a bright new wing”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8852:
      Flying using only the power of the sun is an enticing prospect. But manned solar-powered aircraft are fragile and slow, [].
    Birds of passage fly to warmer regions as it gets colder in winter.   The Concorde flew from Paris to New York faster than any other passenger airplane.   It takes about eleven hours to fly from Frankfurt to Hongkong.   The little fairy flew home on the back of her friend, the giant eagle.
  2. (transitive, intransitive, archaic, poetic) To flee, to escape (from).
    Fly, my lord! The enemy are upon us!
  3. (transitive, ergative) To cause to fly (travel or float in the air): to transport via air or the like.
    • W. S. Gilbert
      The brave black flag I fly.
    • 2013 September 7, On a bright new wing”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8852:
      A solar-powered unmanned aerial system (a UAS, more commonly called a drone) could fly long, lonely missions that conventional aircraft would not be capable of.
    Charles Lindbergh flew his airplane The Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic ocean.   Why don’t you go outside and fly kites, kids? The wind is just perfect.   Birds fly their prey to their nest to feed it to their young.   Each day the post flies thousands of letters around the globe.
  4. (intransitive, colloquial, of a proposal, project or idea) To be accepted, come about or work out.
    Let's see if that idea flies.   You know, I just don't think that's going to fly. Why don't you spend your time on something better?
  5. (intransitive) To travel very fast.
    • John Milton
      Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race.
    • Bryant
      The dark waves murmured as the ships flew on.
    • 2011 September 18, Ben Dirs, Rugby World Cup 2011: England 41-10 Georgia”, in BBC Sport:
      After yet another missed penalty by Kvirikashvili from bang in front of the posts, England scored again, centre Tuilagi flying into the line and touching down under the bar.
  6. To move suddenly, or with violence; to do an act suddenly or swiftly.
    a door flies open;  a bomb flies apart
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, The Haunted House
      And in respect of the great necessity there is, my darling, for more employments being within the reach of Woman than our civilisation has as yet assigned to her, don’t fly at the unfortunate men, even those men who are at first sight in your way, as if they were the natural oppressors of your sex []
  7. To hunt with a hawk.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Bacon to this entry?)
  8. (transitive) To display a flag on a flagpole.
Synonyms
Antonyms
Hyponyms
Derived terms
Related terms
Translations

Noun

fly (plural flies)

  1. (obsolete) The action of flying; flight.
  2. An act of flying.
    We had a quick half-hour fly back into the city.
  3. (baseball) A fly ball.
  4. (now historical) A type of small, fast carriage (sometimes pluralised flys).
    • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula, Folio Society 2008, page 124:
      As we left the house in my fly, which had been waiting, Van Helsing said:— ‘Tonight I can sleep in peace [...].’
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 16, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      “[…] She takes the whole thing with desperate seriousness. But the others are all easy and jovial—thinking about the good fare that is soon to be eaten, about the hired fly, about anything.”
    • 1924, Ford Madox Ford, Some Do Not…, Penguin 2012 (Parade's End), page 54:
      And, driving back in the fly, Macmaster said to himself that you couldn't call Mrs. Duchemin ordinary, at least.
  5. A piece of canvas that covers the opening at the front of a tent.
  6. A strip of material hiding the zipper, buttons etc. at the front of a pair of trousers, pants, underpants, bootees, etc.
  7. The free edge of a flag.
  8. The horizontal length of a flag.
  9. Butterfly, a form of swimming.
  10. (weightlifting) An exercise that involves wide opening and closing of the arms perpendicular to the shoulders.
  11. The part of a vane pointing the direction from which the wind blows.
  12. (nautical) That part of a compass on which the points are marked; the compass card.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Totten to this entry?)
  13. Two or more vanes set on a revolving axis, to act as a fanner, or to equalize or impede the motion of machinery by the resistance of the air, as in the striking part of a clock.
  14. A heavy wheel, or cross arms with weights at the ends on a revolving axis, to regulate or equalize the motion of machinery by means of its inertia, where the power communicated, or the resistance to be overcome, is variable, as in the steam engine or the coining press. See fly wheel.
  15. In a knitting machine, the piece hinged to the needle, which holds the engaged loop in position while the needle is penetrating another loop; a latch.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
  16. The pair of arms revolving around the bobbin, in a spinning wheel or spinning frame, to twist the yarn.
  17. (weaving) A shuttle driven through the shed by a blow or jerk.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
  18. (printing, historical) The person who took the printed sheets from the press.
  19. (printing, historical) A vibrating frame with fingers, attached to a power printing press for doing the same work.
  20. One of the upper screens of a stage in a theatre.
  21. (cotton manufacture) waste cotton
Derived terms
Translations

Verb

fly (third-person singular simple present flies, present participle flying, simple past and past participle flied)

  1. (intransitive, baseball) To hit a fly ball; to hit a fly ball that is caught for an out. Compare ground (verb) and line (verb).
    Jones flied to right in his last at-bat.
Translations

Etymology 3

Origin uncertain; probably from the verb or noun.

Adjective

fly (comparative flier, superlative fliest)

  1. (slang, dated) Quick-witted, alert, mentally sharp.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Charles Dickens, “Household Words”, in Arcadia, volume 7, page 381:
      be assured, O man of sin—pilferer of small wares and petty larcener—that there is an eye within keenly glancing from some loophole contrived between accordions and tin breastplates that watches your every movement, and is "fly,"— to use a term peculiarly comprehensible to dishonest minds—to the slightest gesture of illegal conveyancing.
  2. (slang) Well dressed, smart in appearance.
    He's pretty fly.
  3. (slang) Beautiful; displaying physical beauty.
Translations

Danish

Etymology 1

From Norwegian fly, an abbreviation of flyvemaskin (airplane).

Noun

fly n (singular definite flyet, plural indefinite fly)

  1. airplane
Synonyms
Inflection

Etymology 2

From Old Norse flýja (flee).

Verb

fly (imperative fly, present flyr or flyer, past flyede, past participle flyet, present participle flyende)

  1. flee
  2. shun

Etymology 3

From late Old Norse fligja, flygja, from Middle Low German vlīen, vlīgen (stack, sort out).

Verb

fly (imperative fly, present flyr or flyer, past flyede, past participle flyet, present participle flyende)

  1. hand, give

Norwegian Bokmål

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /flyː/

Etymology 1

Short form of flygemaskin

Noun

fly n (definite singular flyet, indefinite plural fly, definite plural flya or flyene)

  1. plane, aeroplane (UK), airplane (US), aircraft
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Old Norse fljúga

Alternative forms

Verb

fly (imperative fly, present tense flyr, simple past fløy, past participle flydd or fløyet)

  1. to fly
Derived terms

References


Norwegian Nynorsk

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /flyː/ (example of pronunciation)

Etymology 1

Shortened form of flygemaskin (flying machine).

Noun

fly n (definite singular flyet, indefinite plural fly, definite plural flya)

  1. plane, aeroplane (UK), airplane (US), aircraft
    Skunda deg, elles misser du flyet ditt!
    Hurry up, or you'll miss your plane!
Derived terms

Etymology 2

Verb

fly (present tense flyr or flyg, past tense flaug, past participle floge, passive infinitive flygast, present participle flygande, imperative fly or flyg)

  1. Alternative form of flyga

Etymology 3

From Old Norse flýja.

Verb

fly (present tense flyr, past tense flydde, past participle flydd/flytt, passive infinitive flyast, present participle flyande, imperative fly)

  1. escape; flee

References


Swedish

Etymology

From Old Swedish flȳia, flȳa, from Old Norse flýja, from Proto-Germanic *fleuhaną.

Pronunciation

Verb

fly

  1. to flee, to run away, to escape
    Fångarna försökte fly från fängelset.
    The prisoners tried to escape from jail.
    Med tårarna strömmande ned för sina kinder flydde hon undan de andra tjejernas glåpord.
    With tears streaming down her cheeks, she fled the taunting words of the other girls.
  2. to pass, to go by (of time)
    • 1964, Gunnel Vallquist, title of the new Swedish translation of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu
      På spaning efter den tid som flytt
      In Search of Lost Time
    • 1965, Sven-Ingvars, Börja om från början
      Varför ska man sörja tider som har flytt?
      Why should one feel sorry for times that have past?

Conjugation

Related terms