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wing



Pronunciation: (wing), [key]
n.
1. either of the two forelimbs of most birds and of bats, corresponding to the human arms, that are specialized for flight.
2. either of two corresponding parts in flightless birds, which may be rudimentary, as in certain ratite birds, or adapted for swimming, as in penguins.
3. one of the paired, thin, lateral extensions of the body wall of an insect, located on the mesothorax and the metathorax, by means of which it flies.
4. a similar structure with which gods, angels, demons, etc., are conceived to be provided for the purpose of flying.
5. Slang.an arm of a human being, esp. a baseball player's pitching or throwing arm.
6. a means or instrument of flight, travel, or progress.
7. the act or manner of flying.
8. something resembling or likened to a bird's wing, as a vane or sail of a windmill.
9. Aeron.
a. one of a pair of airfoils attached transversely to the fuselage of an aircraft and providing lift.
b. both airfoils, taken collectively.
10. Archit.a part of a building projecting on one side of, or subordinate to, a central or main part.
11. Furniture.either of two forward extensions of the sides of the back of an easy chair.
12. either of the two side portions of an army or fleet, usually called right wing and left wing, and distinguished from the center; flank units.
13. an administrative and tactical unit of the U.S. Air Force consisting of two or more groups, headquarters, and certain supporting and service units.
14. (in flight formation) noting a position to the side and just to the rear of another airplane.
15. Fort.either of the longer sides of a crownwork, uniting it to the main work.
16. Sports.(in some team games) any one of the positions, or a player in such a position, on the far side of the center position, known as the left and right wings with reference to the direction of the opposite goal.
17. Theat.
a. the platform or space on the right or left of the stage proper.
b. See wing flat.
18. Anat.an ala: the wings of the sphenoid.
19. Bot.
a. any leaflike expansion, as of a samara.
b. one of the two side petals of a papilionaceous flower. See diag. under papilionaceous.
20. either of the parts of a double door, screen, etc.
21. the feather of an arrow.
22. a faction within a political party, as at one extreme or the other: conflict between the right wing and the left wing.
23. Naut.one of the far side areas of the hold of a merchant vessel.
24. Brit.a fender of an automobile, truck, bicycle, or other vehicle.
25. on the wing,
a. in flight, or flying: a bird on the wing.
b. in motion; traveling; active: Scouts are on the wing in search of a new talent.
26. take wing,
a. to begin to fly; take to the air.
b. to leave in haste; depart: Our resolutions to economize swiftly took wing.
27. under one's wing, under one's protection, care, or patronage: She took the orphan under her wing.

v.t.
1. to equip with wings.
2. to enable to fly, move rapidly, etc.; lend speed or celerity to.
3. to supply with a winglike part, a side structure, etc.
4. to transport on or as on wings.
5. to perform or accomplish by wings.
6. to traverse in flight.
7. to wound or disable in the wing: to wing a bird.
8. to wound (a person) in an arm or other nonvital part.
9. to bring down (as a flying bird) by a shot.
10. Informal.to throw; lob: He winged a ball through the neighbor's window.
11. to brush or clean with a wing.
12. Theat.to perform (a part, role, etc.) relying on prompters in the wings.

v.i.
1. to travel on or as if on wings; fly; soar: They are winging to the coast.
2. wing it, Informal.to accomplish or execute something without sufficient preparation or experience; improvise: He had no time to study, so he had to wing it.

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

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