Pronunciation: (flī), [key]
v., flew or, for 11, 19, flied, flown, fly•ing,
n., pl. flies.

1. to move through the air using wings.
2. to be carried through the air by the wind or any other force or agency: bits of paper flying about.
3. to float or flutter in the air: flags flying in the breeze.
4. to travel in an aircraft or spacecraft.
5. to move suddenly and quickly; start unexpectedly: He flew from the room.
6. to change rapidly and unexpectedly from one state or position to another: The door flew open.
7. to flee; escape.
8. to travel in space: The probe will fly past the planet.
9. to move or pass swiftly: How time flies!
10. to move with an aggressive surge: A mother fox will fly at anyone approaching her kits.
11. Baseball.
a. to bat a fly ball: He flied into right field.
b. to fly out.
12. be acceptable, believable, or feasible: It seemed like a good idea, but it just wouldn't fly.

1. to make (something) float or move through the air: to fly a kite.
2. to operate (an aircraft, spacecraft, or the like).
3. to hoist aloft, as for display, signaling, etc.: to fly a flag.
4. to operate an aircraft or spacecraft over: to fly the Pacific.
5. to transport or convey by air: We fly merchandise to Boston.
6. to escape from; flee: to fly someone's wrath.
7. Theat.
a. to hang (scenery) above a stage by means of rigging supported by the gridiron.
b. to raise (scenery) from the stage or acting area into the flies.
8. fly blind. See blind (def. 33).
9. fly in the face of, to act in defiance of (authority, custom, etc.). Also,fly in the teeth of.
10. fly off the handle. See handle (def. 8).
11. fly out, Baseball, be put out by hitting a fly ball that is caught by a player of the opposing team.
12. go fly a kite, Slang.
a. to put up with or get used to matters as they stand.
b. to confine oneself to one's own affairs.
c. to cease being a nuisance: If she gets mad enough she'll tell me to go fly a kite.
13. let fly,
a. to hurl or propel (a weapon, missile, etc.).
b. to give free rein to an emotion: She let fly with a barrage of angry words.

1. a strip of material sewn along one edge of a garment opening for concealing buttons, zippers, or other fasteners.
2. a flap forming the door of a tent.
3. Also called tent fly. a piece of canvas extending over the ridgepole of a tent and forming an outer roof.
4. an act of flying; a flight.
5. the course of a flying object, as a ball.
6. Baseball.See fly ball.
7. Brit.a light, covered, public carriage drawn by one horse; hansom; hackney coach.
8. Mach.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.
9. Also called fan. Horol.a regulating device for chime and striking mechanisms, consisting of an arrangement of vanes on a revolving axis.
10. Print.
a. (in some presses) the apparatus for removing the printed sheets to the delivery table.
b. Also called flyboy. (formerly) a printer's devil employed to remove printed sheets from a press.
11. (on a flag)
a. the horizontal dimension of a flag as flown from a vertical staff.
b. the end of the flag farther from the staff. Cf. hoist (def. 8).
12. flies.Also called fly loft. Theat.the space above the stage used chiefly for storing scenery and equipment.
13. Naut.a propellerlike device streamed to rotate and transfer information on speed to a mechanical log.
14. on the fly,
a. during flight; before falling to the ground: to catch a baseball on the fly.
b. hurriedly; without pausing: We had dinner on the fly.


Pronunciation: (flī), [key]
pl. flies.

1. Also called true fly. any of numerous two-winged insects of the order Diptera, esp. of the family Muscidae, as the common housefly.
2. any of various winged insects, as the mayfly or firefly.
3. Angling.a fishhook dressed with hair, feathers, silk, tinsel, etc., so as to resemble an insect or small fish, for use as a lure or bait.
4. (cap.) Astron.the constellation Musca.
5. fly in the ointment, a detrimental factor; detraction: If there's one fly in the ointment, it's that there may not be the money to finish the job.


Pronunciation: (flī), [key]
adj. Brit. Informal.
1. clever; keen; ingenious.
2. agile; nimble.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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See also:
  • fly (Thesaurus)


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