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  • enPR: flīt, IPA(key): /flaɪt/
  • (file)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪt

Etymology 1[edit]

A Mikoyan MiG-17F jet in flight
A flight of stairs.

From Middle English flight, from Old English flyht (flight), from Proto-West Germanic *fluhti (flight), derived from *fleuganą (to fly), from Proto-Indo-European *plewk- (to fly), enlargement of *plew- (flow). Analyzable as fly +‎ -t (variant of -th).

Cognate with West Frisian flecht (flight), Dutch vlucht (flight), German Flucht (flight) (etymology 2).


flight (countable and uncountable, plural flights)

  1. The act of flying.
    Most birds are capable of flight.
  2. An instance of flying.
    The migrating birds' flight took them to Africa.
  3. (collective) A collective term for doves or swallows.
    a flight of swallows
  4. A trip made by an aircraft, particularly one between two cities or countries, which is often planned or reserved in advance.
    The flight to Paris leaves at 7 o'clock tonight.
    Where is the departure gate for flight 747? / Go straight down and to the right.
  5. A series of stairs between landings.
    • 1967, Barbara Sleigh, Jessamy, Sevenoaks, Kent: Bloomsbury, published 1993, →ISBN, page 84:
      She crept up the stairs [...] On she went, across the landing, from which sprang the tall window, and up the next flight until she reached the top.
  6. A group of canal locks with a short distance between them
  7. A floor which is reached by stairs or escalators.
    How many flights is it up?
  8. The feathers on an arrow or dart used to help it follow an even path.
    • c. 1596–1598 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of Venice”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene i], page 164:
      Baſſ. In my ſchoole dayes, when I had loſt one ſhaft / I ſhot his fellow of the ſelfeſame flight / The ſelfeſame way, with more aduiſed watch / To finde the other forth, and by aduenturing both, / I oft found both. I vrge this child-hoode proofe, []
  9. A paper airplane. (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  10. (cricket) The movement of a spinning ball through the air - concerns its speed, trajectory and drift.
  11. The ballistic trajectory of an arrow or other projectile.
  12. An aerodynamic surface designed to guide such a projectile's trajectory.
  13. An air force unit.
  14. (US, naval) A numbered subclass of a given class of warship, denoting incremental modernizations to the original design.
  15. Several sample glasses of a specific wine varietal or other beverage. The pours are smaller than a full glass and the flight will generally include three to five different samples.
  16. (by extension) A comparable sample of beers or other drinks.
  17. (engineering) The shaped material forming the thread of a screw.
  18. An episode of imaginative thinking or dreaming.
    a flight of fancy; a flight of the imagination
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


flight (comparative more flight, superlative most flight)

  1. (obsolete) Fast, swift, fleet.


flight (third-person singular simple present flights, present participle flighting, simple past and past participle flighted)

  1. (cricket, of a spin bowler) To throw the ball in such a way that it has more airtime and more spin than usual.
  2. (sports, by extension, transitive) To throw or kick something so as to send it flying with more loft or airtime than usual.
    • 2017 March 14, Stuart James, “Leicester stun Sevilla to reach last eight after Kasper Schmeichel save”, in the Guardian[1]:
      Riyad Mahrez flighted the free-kick that followed to the far post and Morgan, with not much finesse but plenty of desire, bundled the ball over the line. Cue pandemonium in the stands.

See also[edit]

Appendix:English collective nouns

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English, from Old English flyht, from Proto-West Germanic *fluhti, derived from *fleuhaną (to flee). Analyzable as flee +‎ -t (variant of -th). Cognate with Dutch vlucht, German Flucht (etymology 1).


flight (countable and uncountable, plural flights)

  1. The act of fleeing.
    take flight
    the flight of a refugee
    • 1859, Edward Fitzgerald, The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám: The Astronomer-Poet of Persia, page 1:
      Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night,
      Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
      And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
      The Sultán's Turret in a Noose of light.
    • 1902, John Buchan, The Outgoing of the Tide:
      But the sight of her eyes was not a thing to forget. John Dodds said they were the een of a deer with the Devil ahint them; and indeed, they would so appal an onlooker that a sudden unreasoning terror came into his heart, while his feet would impel him to flight.
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]

Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


From Old English flyht.


flight (plural flights)

  1. flight (act of flying)


  • English: flight
  • Scots: flycht, flicht



Borrowed from English flight. Attested since 1967.


flight c

  1. a flight ((regular) trip made by a passenger aircraft)


Declension of flight 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative flight flighten flighter flighterna
Genitive flights flightens flighters flighternas

See also[edit]