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See also: Fling



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

Etymology 1[edit]

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


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.
    • 1838, Douglas William Jerrold, Men of Character:
      When I was as young as you, I had my fling. I led a life of pleasure.
    • 1891, Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, volume 1, London: James R. Osgood, McIlvaine and Co., page 23:
      "I am inclined to go and have a fling with them. Why not all of us — just for a minute or two — it will not detain us long?"
    • 1960 February, Cecil J. Allen, “Locomotive Running Past and Present”, in Trains Illustrated, page 113:
      Here again steam is having its last fling, and the "dual link" drivers at Brunswick shed, Liverpool, already are alternating steam and diesel duties.
  4. A short romantic, oftentimes sexual, relationship.
    Synonyms: affairette, dalliance, hookup, liaison
    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.
  7. A lively Scottish country dance.
    the Highland fling
  8. (obsolete) A trifling matter; an object of contempt.
    • ante 1800, old proverb
      England were but a fling / Save for the crooked stick and the grey goose wing.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English flyngen, 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).


fling (third-person singular simple present flings, present participle flinging, simple past flung or (colloquial or dialectal) flang or (nonstandard) flinged, past participle flung or (nonstandard) flinged)

  1. (intransitive, now archaic) To move (oneself) abruptly or violently; to rush or dash.
  2. (transitive) To throw with violence or quick movement; to hurl.
    • 1693, Decimus Junius Juvenalis, Charles Dryden, transl., “[The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis.] The Seventh Satyr”, in The Satires of Decimus Junius Juvenalis. Translated into English Verse. [] Together with the Satires of Aulus Persius Flaccus. [], London: Printed for Jacob Tonson [], →OCLC:
      'Tis Fate that casts the Dice, and as she flings,
      Of Kings makes Pedants, and of Pedants Kings.
    • 1712 (date written), [Joseph] Addison, Cato, a Tragedy. [], London: [] J[acob] Tonson, [], published 1713, →OCLC, Act I, scene i, page 1:
      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.
    • 2022 January 12, Benedict le Vay, “The heroes of Soham...”, in RAIL, number 948, page 43:
      Signalman Bridges was killed by the blast, as was fireman Nightall. Amazingly, driver Gimbert came round some 200 yards away, on the grass outside the Station Hotel where he had been flung.
  3. (intransitive, archaic) To throw; to wince; to flounce.
    • 1836, 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.
Derived terms[edit]

Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of flyngen



fling c

  1. a fling (short romantic relationship)


Declension of fling 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative fling flingen flingar flingarna
Genitive flings flingens flingars flingarnas