Fly v. i. [imp. Flew p. p. Flown p. pr. & vb. n. Flying.]
1. To move in or pass through the air with wings, as a bird.
2. To move through the air or before the wind; esp., to pass or be driven rapidly through the air by any impulse.
3. To float, wave, or rise in the air, as sparks or a flag.
Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. --Job v. 7.
4. To move or pass swiftly; to hasten away; to circulate rapidly; as, a ship flies on the deep; a top flies around; rumor flies.
Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race. --Milton.
The dark waves murmured as the ships flew on. --Bryant.
5. To run from danger; to attempt to escape; to flee; as, an enemy or a coward flies. See Note under Flee.
Fly, ere evil intercept thy flight. --Milton.
Whither shall I fly to escape their hands ? --Shak.
6. To move suddenly, or with violence; to do an act suddenly or swiftly; -- usually with a qualifying word; as, a door flies open; a bomb flies apart.
To fly about Naut., to change frequently in a short time; -- said of the wind.
To fly around, to move about in haste. [Colloq.]
To fly at, to spring toward; to rush on; to attack suddenly.
To fly in the face of, to insult; to assail; to set at defiance; to oppose with violence; to act in direct opposition to; to resist.
To fly off, to separate, or become detached suddenly; to revolt.
To fly on, to attack.
To fly open, to open suddenly, or with violence.
To fly out. (a) To rush out. (b) To burst into a passion; to break out into license.
To let fly. (a) To throw or drive with violence; to discharge. “A man lets fly his arrow without taking any aim.” --Addison. (b) Naut. To let go suddenly and entirely; as, to let fly the sheets.
Fly·ing a. Moving in the air with, or as with, wings; moving lightly or rapidly; intended for rapid movement.
Flying army Mil. a body of cavalry and infantry, kept in motion, to cover its own garrisons and to keep the enemy in continual alarm. --Farrow. --Flying artillery Mil., artillery trained to rapid evolutions, -- the men being either mounted or trained to spring upon the guns and caissons when they change position.
Flying bridge, Flying camp. See under Bridge, and Camp.
Flying buttress Arch., a contrivance for taking up the thrust of a roof or vault which can not be supported by ordinary buttresses. It consists of a straight bar of masonry, usually sloping, carried on an arch, and a solid pier or buttress sufficient to receive the thrust. The word is generally applied only to the straight bar with supporting arch.
Flying colors, flags unfurled and waving in the air; hence: To come off with flying colors, to be victorious; to succeed thoroughly in an undertaking.
Flying doe Zool., a young female kangaroo.
Flying dragon. (a) Zool. See Dragon, 6. (b) A meteor. See under Dragon.
Flying Dutchman. (a) A fabled Dutch mariner condemned for his crimes to sail the seas till the day of judgment. (b) A spectral ship.
Flying fish. Zool. See Flying fish, in the Vocabulary.
Flying fox Zool., see Flying fox in the vocabulary.
Flying frog Zool., either of two East Indian tree frogs of the genus Rhacophorus (Rhacophorus nigrapalmatus and Rhacophorus pardalis), having very large and broadly webbed feet, which serve as parachutes, and enable it to make very long leaps.
Flying gurnard Zool., a species of gurnard of the genus Cephalacanthus or Dactylopterus, with very large pectoral fins, said to be able to fly like the flying fish, but not for so great a distance.
Note: Three species are known; that of the Atlantic is Cephalacanthus volitans.
Flying jib Naut., a sail extended outside of the standing jib, on the flying-jib boom.
Flying-jib boom Naut., an extension of the jib boom.
Flying kites Naut., light sails carried only in fine weather.
Flying lemur. Zool. See Colugo.
Flying level Civil Engin., a reconnoissance level over the course of a projected road, canal, etc.
Flying lizard. Zool. See Dragon, n. 6.
Flying machine, any apparatus for navigating through the air, especially a heavier-than-air machine.
Flying mouse Zool., the opossum mouse (Acrobates pygmæus), a marsupial of Australia. Called also feathertail glider.
Note: It has lateral folds of skin, like the flying squirrels, and a featherlike tail.
Flying party Mil., a body of soldiers detailed to hover about an enemy.
Flying phalanger Zool., one of several species of small marsuupials of the genera Petaurus and Belideus, of Australia and New Guinea, having lateral folds like those of the flying squirrels. The sugar squirrel (Belideus sciureus), and the ariel (Belideus ariel), are the best known; -- called also squirrel petaurus and flying squirrel. See Sugar squirrel.
Flying pinion, the fly of a clock.
Flying sap Mil., the rapid construction of trenches (when the enemy's fire of case shot precludes the method of simple trenching), by means of gabions placed in juxtaposition and filled with earth.
Flying shot, a shot fired at a moving object, as a bird on the wing.
Flying spider. Zool. See Ballooning spider.
Flying squid Zool., an oceanic squid (Ommastrephes Bartramii syn. Sthenoteuthis Bartramii), abundant in the Gulf Stream, which is able to leap out of the water with such force that it often falls on the deck of a vessel.
Flying squirrel Zool. See Flying squirrel, in the Vocabulary.
Flying start, a start in a sailing race in which the signal is given while the vessels are under way.
Flying torch Mil., a torch attached to a long staff and used for signaling at night.
adj 1: capable of or engaged in flight; "the bat is a flying
2: moving swiftly; "fast-flying planes"; "played the difficult
passage with flying fingers" [syn: fast-flying]
3: streaming or flapping or spreading wide as if in a current
of air; "ran quickly, her flaring coat behind her";
"flying banners"; "flags waving in the breeze" [syn: aflare,
4: designed for swift movement or action; "a flying police
squad is trained for quick action anywhere in the city"
5: of or relating to passage through the air especially
aviation; "a flying time of three hours between cities";
"unidentified flying objects"
6: hurried and brief; "paid a flying visit"; "took a flying
glance at the book"; "a quick inspection"; "a fast visit"
[syn: quick, fast]
7: done swiftly in or as if in the air; used e.g. of a racing
start in which runners are already in motion as they cross
the starting line; "a flying start"; "crossed the goal
line with a flying leap"
n : an instance of traveling by air; "flying was still an
exciting adventure for him" [syn: flight]