fling

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See also: Fling

English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ˈflɪŋ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪŋ

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English fling, from the verb (see below). Compare Icelandic flengur (a fast sprint).

Noun[edit]

fling (plural flings)

  1. An act of throwing, often violently.
  2. An act of moving the limbs or body with violent movements, especially in a dance.
    the fling of a horse
  3. An act or period of unrestrained indulgence.
    • (Can we date this quote by D. Jerrold and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      When I was as young as you, I had my fling. I led a life of pleasure.
  4. A short casual sexual relationship.
    Synonym: hookup
    I had a fling with a girl I met on holiday.
  5. (figuratively) An attempt, a try (as in "give it a fling").
  6. (obsolete) A severe or contemptuous remark; an expression of sarcastic scorn; a gibe or taunt.
    • (Can we date this quote by Jonathan Swift and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      I, who love to have a fling, / Both at senate house and king.
  7. A lively Scottish country dance.
    the Highland fling
  8. (obsolete) A trifling matter; an object of contempt.
    • (Can we date this quote by Old proverb and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      England were but a fling / Save for the crooked stick and the grey goose wing.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English flingen, flengen, from Old Norse flengja (to whip), from Proto-Germanic *flangijaną (to beat, whip), from Proto-Indo-European *pleh₂k- (to beat). Cognate with Icelandic flengja (to spank), Norwegian flengja (to rip, tear, or fling open).

Verb[edit]

fling (third-person singular simple present flings, present participle flinging, simple past and past participle flung)

  1. (intransitive, now archaic) To move (oneself) abruptly or violently; to rush or dash.
    • a. 1645, John Milton, “L'Allegro”, in Poems of Mr. John Milton, [] , London: Printed by Ruth Raworth for Humphrey Moſely,  [], published 1645, OCLC 606951673:
      And crop-full, out of doors he flings.
    • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa, Letter 113:
      I see, sir, said I, I see what a man I am with. […] And away I flung, leaving him seemingly vexed, and in confusion.
    • (Can we date this quote by Elizabeth Browning and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      I flung closer to his breast, / As sword that, after battle, flings to sheath.
  2. (transitive) To throw with violence or quick movement; to hurl.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      'Tis Fate that flings the dice: and, as she flings, / Of kings makes peasants, and of peasants kings.
    • (Can we date this quote by Addison and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      I know thy generous temper well. / Fling but the appearance of dishonour on it, / It straight takes fire.
    • 2011, Tom Fordyce, Rugby World Cup 2011: England 12-19 France[1]:
      Wilkinson was struggling, sending the re-start straight into touch and flinging a pass the same way, and France then went close to the first try of the contest as Clerc took a long pass out on the left and was just bundled into touch by the corner flag.
  3. (intransitive, archaic) To throw; to wince; to flounce.
    • (Can we date this quote?), Helen Crocket, The Ettrick Shepherd's Last Tale
      The horse flung most potently, making his heels fly aloft in the air.
  4. (intransitive, archaic) To utter abusive language; to sneer.
    The scold began to flout and fling.
Translations[edit]