fly

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See also: Fly

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Pronunciation[edit]

  • enPR: flī, IPA(key): /flaɪ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪ

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English flye, flie, from Old English flȳġe, flēoge (a fly), from Proto-Germanic *fleugǭ (a fly), from Proto-Indo-European *plewk- (to fly). Cognate with Scots flee, Saterland Frisian Fljooge, Dutch vlieg, German Low German Fleeg, German Fliege, Danish flue, Norwegian Bokmål flue, Norwegian Nynorsk fluge, Swedish fluga, Icelandic fluga.

Noun[edit]

A fly (insect)

fly (plural flies)

  1. (zoology) Any insect of the order Diptera; characterized by having two wings (except for some wingless species), also called true flies.
    • 2012 January 1, Douglas Larson, “Runaway Devils Lake”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 1, page 46:
      Devils Lake is where I began my career as a limnologist in 1964, studying the lake’s neotenic salamanders and chironomids, or midge flies. […] The Devils Lake Basin is an endorheic, or closed, basin covering about 9,800 square kilometers in northeastern North Dakota.
  2. (non-technical) Especially, any of the insects of the family Muscidae, such as the common housefly (other families of Diptera include mosquitoes and midges).
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 5, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      When you're well enough off so's you don't have to fret about anything but your heft or your diseases you begin to get queer, I suppose. And the queerer the cure for those ailings the bigger the attraction. A place like the Right Livers' Rest was bound to draw freaks, same as molasses draws flies.
  3. Any similar, but unrelated insect such as dragonfly or butterfly.
  4. (fishing) A lightweight fishing lure resembling an insect.
    • 1886, Peter Christen Asbjørnsen, H.L. Brækstad, transl., Folk and Fairy Tales, page 152:
      I went on trying for fish along the western bank down the river, but only small trout rose at my flies, and a score was the total catch.
  5. (weightlifting) A chest exercise performed by moving extended arms from the sides to in front of the chest. (also flye)
  6. (obsolete) A witch's familiar.
  7. (obsolete) A parasite.
    • 1636, “The Bashful Lover”, in Gifford, William, editor, The Plays of Philip Massinger[1], Act 1, Scene 1, published 1845, page 470:
      The fly that plays too near the flame burns in it.
  8. (swimming) The butterfly stroke (plural is normally flys)
  9. (preceded by definite article) A simple dance in which the hands are shaken in the air, popular in the 1960s.
Hyponyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further reading[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English flien, from Old English flēogan, from Proto-Germanic *fleuganą (compare Saterland Frisian fljooge, Dutch vliegen, Low German flegen, German fliegen, Danish flyve, Norwegian Nynorsk flyga), from Proto-Indo-European *plewk- (*plew-k-, to fly) (compare Lithuanian plaũkti ‘to swim’), enlargement of *plew- (flow). More at flee and flow.

Verb[edit]

fly (third-person singular simple present flies, present participle flying, simple past flew, past participle flown)

  1. (intransitive) To travel through the air, another gas, or a vacuum, without being in contact with a grounded surface.
    Birds of passage fly to warmer regions as it gets colder in winter.
    The Concorde flew from Paris to New York faster than any other passenger airplane.
    It takes about eleven hours to fly from Frankfurt to Hong Kong.
    The little fairy flew home on the back of her friend, the giant eagle.
  2. (transitive, intransitive, archaic, poetic) To flee, to escape (from).
    Fly, my lord! The enemy are upon us!
  3. (transitive, ergative) To cause to fly (travel or float in the air): to transport via air or the like.
    Charles Lindbergh flew his airplane The Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic ocean.
    Why don’t you go outside and fly kites, kids? The wind is just perfect.
    Birds fly their prey to their nest to feed it to their young.
    Each day the post flies thousands of letters around the globe.
  4. (intransitive) To travel or proceed very fast; to hasten.
    He flew down the hill on his bicycle.
    It's five o'clock already. Doesn't time fly!
    • 1645, John Milton, On Time
      Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race.
    • 1870, William Cullen Bryant (translator), The Iliad (originally by Homer)
      The dark waves murmured as the ship flew on.
    • 2011 September 18, Ben Dirs, “Rugby World Cup 2011: England 41-10 Georgia”, in BBC Sport:
      After yet another missed penalty by Kvirikashvili from bang in front of the posts, England scored again, centre Tuilagi flying into the line and touching down under the bar.
  5. To move suddenly, or with violence; to do an act suddenly or swiftly.
    a door flies open;  a bomb flies apart
    • 1859, Charles Dickens, The Haunted House:
      And in respect of the great necessity there is, my darling, for more employments being within the reach of Woman than our civilisation has as yet assigned to her, don’t fly at the unfortunate men, even those men who are at first sight in your way, as if they were the natural oppressors of your sex []
  6. (intransitive) To proceed with great success.
    His career is really flying at the moment.
    One moment the company was flying high, the next it was on its knees.
  7. (intransitive, colloquial, of a proposal, project or idea) To be accepted, come about or work out.
    Let's see if that idea flies.
    You know, I just don't think that's going to fly. Why don't you spend your time on something better?
  8. (transitive, ergative) To display (a flag) on a flagpole.
  9. To hunt with a hawk.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Francis Bacon to this entry?)
Synonyms[edit]
Antonyms[edit]
Hyponyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun[edit]

fly (plural flys or flies)

  1. (obsolete) The action of flying; flight.
  2. An act of flying.
    There was a good wind, so I decided to give the kite a fly.
  3. (baseball) A fly ball.
  4. (now historical) A type of small, fast carriage (sometimes pluralised flys).
    • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula, Folio Society 2008, page 124:
      As we left the house in my fly, which had been waiting, Van Helsing said:— ‘Tonight I can sleep in peace [...].’
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 16, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      “[…] She takes the whole thing with desperate seriousness. But the others are all easy and jovial—thinking about the good fare that is soon to be eaten, about the hired fly, about anything.”
    • 1924, Ford Madox Ford, Some Do Not…, Penguin 2012 (Parade's End), page 54:
      And, driving back in the fly, Macmaster said to himself that you couldn't call Mrs. Duchemin ordinary, at least.
  5. A piece of canvas that covers the opening at the front of a tent.
  6. (often plural) A strip of material (sometimes hiding zippers or buttons) at the front of a pair of trousers, pants, underpants, bootees, etc.
    Ha-ha! Your flies are undone!
    • February 2014 Y-Front Fly
      Y-Front is a registered trademark for a special front fly turned upside down to form a Y owned by Jockey® International. The first Y-Front® brief was created by Jockey® more than 70 years ago.
    • June 2014 The Hole In Men’s Underwear: Name And Purpose
      Briefs were given an opening in the front. The point of this opening (the ‘fly’) was to make it easier to pee with clothes on
  7. The free edge of a flag.
  8. The horizontal length of a flag.
  9. (weightlifting) An exercise that involves wide opening and closing of the arms perpendicular to the shoulders.
  10. The part of a vane pointing the direction from which the wind blows.
  11. (nautical) That part of a compass on which the points are marked; the compass card.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Totten to this entry?)
  12. Two or more vanes set on a revolving axis, to act as a fanner, or to equalize or impede the motion of machinery by the resistance of the air, as in the striking part of a clock.
  13. Short for flywheel.
  14. (historical) A light horse-drawn carriage that can be hired for transportation.
    • 1859, Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White:
      Can I get a fly, or a carriage of any kind? Is it too late?
      I dismissed the fly a mile distant from the park, and getting my directions from the driver, proceeded by myself to the house.
    • 1861, Henry Mayhew and William Tuckniss, London Labour and the London Poor: A Cyclopœdia of the Condition and Earnings of Those that Will Work, Those that Cannot Work, and Those that Will Not Work, Volume 3, p. 359:
      A glass coach, it may be as well to observe, is a carriage and pair hired by the day, and a fly a one-horse carriage hired in a similar manner.
  15. In a knitting machine, the piece hinged to the needle, which holds the engaged loop in position while the needle is penetrating another loop; a latch.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
  16. The pair of arms revolving around the bobbin, in a spinning wheel or spinning frame, to twist the yarn.
  17. (weaving) A shuttle driven through the shed by a blow or jerk.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)
  18. (printing, historical) The person who took the printed sheets from the press.
  19. (printing, historical) A vibrating frame with fingers, attached to a power printing press for doing the same work.
  20. One of the upper screens of a stage in a theatre.
  21. (cotton manufacture) waste cotton
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

fly (third-person singular simple present flies, present participle flying, simple past and past participle flied)

  1. (intransitive, baseball) To hit a fly ball; to hit a fly ball that is caught for an out. Compare ground (verb) and line (verb).
    Jones flied to right in his last at-bat.
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Origin uncertain; probably from the verb or noun.

Adjective[edit]

fly (comparative flier, superlative fliest)

  1. (slang, dated) Quick-witted, alert, mentally sharp.
    • 1854, Charles Dickens, “Household Words”, in Arcadia[2], volume 7, page 381:
      be assured, O man of sin—pilferer of small wares and petty larcener—that there is an eye within keenly glancing from some loophole contrived between accordions and tin breastplates that watches your every movement, and is "fly,"— to use a term peculiarly comprehensible to dishonest minds—to the slightest gesture of illegal conveyancing.
  2. (slang) Well dressed, smart in appearance; in style, cool.
    He's pretty fly.
    • 1888, Frederick Thickstun Clark, A Mexican Girl[3], page 270:
      when Ortega got fixed up in his fly duds like that, an ord'nary man's overcoat wouldn't make 'im a pair o' socks.
    • 2001 September 1, “Super Fly”, in Vibe[4], volume 9, number 9, page 252:
      Starring the light-skinned Ron O'Neal with his shoulder-length perm and fly threads, Super Fly exudes a sense of black pride as O'Neal bucks the dope game, dismisses his white girlfriend, and beats The Man at his own hustle.
    • 2012, Lindy West, Dan Savage, Christopher Frizzelle, How to Be a Person: The Stranger's Guide to College, Sex, Intoxicants, Tacos, and Life Itself[5]:
      How NOT to Facebook / [] no naked pictures, no deep emotions (awkward), no tagging a bunch of people in a picture of some fly Nikes, no making dinner plans (just use a PHONE).
    • 2019, “Balenciaga”, performed by Princess Nokia:
      I'm so fly, I don't even try / I get so high, I can touch the sky / Dress for myself, I don't dress for hype / I dress for myself, you dress for the likes
  3. (slang) Beautiful; displaying physical beauty.
    • 1991, “Busy Doin Nuthin”, in I Need a Haircut, performed by Biz Markie:
      Word is bond she looked divine, she looked as fly as can be
      I thought she was different cause she was by herself
      She looked real wholesome, and in good physical health
    • 1994, “Memory Lane (Sittin’ in da Park)”, in Illmatic, performed by Nas:
      I rap for listeners, blunt heads, fly ladies and prisoners
Translations[edit]

Etymology 4[edit]

Related to German Flügel (a wing), Dutch vleugel (a wing), Swedish flygel (a wing).

Noun[edit]

fly (plural flies)

  1. (rural, Scotland, Northern England) A wing.
    The bullet barely grazed the wild fowl's fly.

References[edit]


Danish[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

An abbreviation of flyvemaskine, after Norwegian fly and Swedish flyg.

Noun[edit]

fly n (singular definite flyet, plural indefinite fly)

  1. airplane
Inflection[edit]
Synonyms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Norse flýja (to flee), from Proto-Germanic *fleuhaną, cognate with English flee, German fliehen, Dutch vlieden.

Verb[edit]

fly (present flyr or flyer, past tense flyede, past participle flyet)

  1. (archaic) to flee
  2. (archaic) to shun
Inflection[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Middle Low German vlī(g)en (to stack, sort out), cognate with Dutch vlijen (to place), from Proto-Germanic *flīhan, of unknown ultimate origin; possibly related to the root of *flaihijan (to be sly, to flatter), though the semantic gap is wide.[1]

Verb[edit]

fly (present flyr or flyer, past tense flyede, past participle flyet)

  1. (archaic) to hand, give
Inflection[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ van der Sijs, Nicoline, editor (2010) , “vlijen”, in Etymologiebank, Meertens Institute

Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Short form of flygemaskin

Noun[edit]

fly n (definite singular flyet, indefinite plural fly, definite plural flya or flyene)

  1. plane, aeroplane (UK), airplane (US), aircraft
Derived terms[edit]


Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Norse fljúga

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

fly (imperative fly, present tense flyr, simple past fløy, past participle flydd or fløyet)

  1. to fly
Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]


Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

Clipping of flygemaskin (flying machine).

Noun[edit]

fly n (definite singular flyet, indefinite plural fly, definite plural flya)

  1. plane, aeroplane (UK), airplane (US), aircraft
    Skunda deg, elles misser du flyet ditt!
    Hurry up, or you'll miss your plane!
Derived terms[edit]


Etymology 2[edit]

From Old Norse fljúga, from Proto-Germanic *fleuganą.

Alternative forms[edit]

Verb[edit]

fly (present tense flyr or flyg, past tense flaug, supine floge, past participle flogen, present participle flygande, imperative fly or flyg)

  1. (intransitive) to fly (to travel through air, another gas or a vacuum, without being in contact with a grounded surface)
  2. (transitive, ergative) to cause to fly: to transport via air or the like
  3. (intransitive) to run, move fast
  4. (intransitive, chiefly about farm animals) to be in heat, rutting
Derived terms[edit]


Related terms[edit]

Adjective[edit]

fly (masculine and feminine fly, neuter flytt, definite singular and plural flye, comparative flyare, indefinite superlative flyast, definite superlative flyaste)

  1. very steep

Noun[edit]

fly n (definite singular flyet, indefinite plural fly, definite plural flya)

  1. a very steep cliff

Etymology 3[edit]

From Old Norse flýja, from Proto-Germanic *fleuhaną.

Verb[edit]

fly (present tense flyr, past tense flydde, past participle flydd/flytt, passive infinitive flyast, present participle flyande, imperative fly)

  1. (intransitive) to escape; flee; run away
    Synonym: flykte
  2. (transitive) to escape from

Etymology 4[edit]

Clipping of flygande (flying), present participle of fly.

Adverb[edit]

fly

  1. (colloquial) Used as an intensifier for the word forbanna
    Han vart fly forbanna.

Etymology 5[edit]

Confer with flye n (flying insect) and English fly.

Noun[edit]

fly f (definite singular flya, indefinite plural flyer, definite plural flyene)

  1. small (flying) insect
  2. (fishing) bait

Etymology 6[edit]

Noun[edit]

fly f (definite singular flya, indefinite plural flyer, definite plural flyene)

  1. specks
    Synonyms: rusk, grann

Etymology 7[edit]

Noun[edit]

fly f (definite singular flya, indefinite plural flyer, definite plural flyene)

  1. mountain plateau
    Synonyms: vidde, fjellvidde

Etymology 8[edit]

Of uncertain origin, though may be related to flyta (to float).

Noun[edit]

fly n (definite singular flyet, indefinite plural fly, definite plural flya)

  1. sump

Etymology 9[edit]

Related to, or possibly a doublet of flø, from Old Norse flór.

Adjective[edit]

fly (masculine and feminine fly, neuter flytt, definite singular and plural flye, comparative flyare, indefinite superlative flyast, definite superlative flyaste)

  1. tepid

References[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


Scots[edit]

Adjective[edit]

fly

  1. (slang, chiefly Doric) sneaky
    • 2013 November 12, Charley Buchan, Karen Barrett-Ayres, “A Fly Cup”, in Doric Voices[6], Robert Gordon University:
      Noo then, fa's for a fly cup?
      Now then, who's for a sneaky cup?

Swedish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Swedish flȳia, flȳa, from Old Norse flýja, from Proto-Germanic *fleuhaną.

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

fly (present flyr, preterite flydde, supine flytt, imperative fly)

  1. to flee, to run away, to escape
    Fångarna försökte fly från fängelset.
    The prisoners tried to escape from jail.
    Med tårarna strömmande ned för sina kinder flydde hon undan de andra tjejernas glåpord.
    With tears streaming down her cheeks, she fled the taunting words of the other girls.
  2. to pass, to go by (of time)
    • 1964, Gunnel Vallquist, title of the new Swedish translation of Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu
      På spaning efter den tid som flytt
      In Search of Lost Time
    • 1965, Sven-Ingvars, Börja om från början
      Varför ska man sörja tider som har flytt?
      Why should one feel sorry for times that have passed?

Conjugation[edit]

Related terms[edit]


Westrobothnian[edit]

Verb[edit]

fly

  1. to send, to hand
    fly me sɑksa
    hand me the scissors