(flew; flown; flying)
Etymology: Middle English flien, from Old English flēogan; akin to Old High German fliogan to fly and probably to Old English flōwan to flow
Date: before 12th century
a. to move in or pass through the air with wings
b. to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space
c. to float, wave, or soar in the air <flags flying at half-mast> 2. a. to take flight ; flee b. to fade and disappear ; vanish 3. a. to move, pass, or spread quickly <rumors were flying> b. to be moved with sudden extreme emotion <flew into a rage> c. to seem to pass quickly <the time simply flew> 4. to become expended or dissipated rapidly 5. to operate or travel in an airplane or spacecraft 6. to work successfully ; win popular acceptance <knew…a pure human-rights approach would not fly — Charles Brydon> transitive verb 1. a. to cause to fly, float, or hang in the air <flying a kite> b. to operate (as a balloon, aircraft, rocket, or spacecraft) in flight c. to journey over or through by flying 2. a. to flee or escape from b. avoid, shun 3. to transport by aircraft or spacecraft II. noun (plural flies) Date: before 12th century 1. the action or process of flying ; flight 2. a. a device consisting of two or more radial vanes capable of rotating on a spindle to act as a fan or to govern the speed of clockwork or very light machinery b. flywheel 3. plural the space over a theater stage where scenery and equipment can be hung 4. something attached by one edge: as a. a garment closing concealed by a fold of cloth extending over the fastener b. (1) the length of an extended flag from its staff or support (2) the outer or loose end of a flag 5. a baseball hit high into the air 6. flyleaf 7. a sheet of material (as canvas) that is attachable to a tent for use as a double top or as a rooflike extension 8. a football pass pattern in which the receiver runs straight downfield III. intransitive verb (flied; flying) Date: 1893 to hit a fly in baseball IV. noun (plural flies) Etymology: Middle English flie, from Old English flēoge; akin to Old High German flioga fly, Old English flēogan to fly Date: before 12th century 1. a winged insect — usually used in combination <mayflies> <butterfly> 2. a. any of a large order (Diptera) of winged or rarely wingless insects (as the housefly, mosquito, or gnat) that have the anterior wings functional, the posterior wings reduced to halteres, and segmented often headless, eyeless, and legless larvae — compare maggot b. a large stout-bodied fly 3. a fishhook dressed (as with feathers or tinsel) to suggest an insect V. adjective Etymology: probably from 1fly Date: 1811 chiefly British keen, artful
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.