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See also: Fling




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

Etymology 1Edit

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.
    • D. Jerrold
      When I was as young as you, I had my fling. I led a life of pleasure.
  4. A short casual sexual relationship.
    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; a sarcasm.
    • Jonathan Swift
      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.
    • Old proverb
      England were but a fling / Save for the crooked stick and the grey goose wing.

Etymology 2Edit

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).


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

  1. (transitive) To throw with violence or quick movement; to hurl.
    • Dryden
      'Tis Fate that flings the dice: and, as she flings, / Of kings makes peasants, and of peasants kings.
    • Addison
      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.
  2. (intransitive, archaic) To throw oneself in a violent or hasty manner; to rush or spring with violence or haste.
    • Milton
      And crop-full, out of doors he flings.
    • Elizabeth Browning
      I flung closer to his breast, / As sword that, after battle, flings to sheath.
  3. (intransitive, archaic) To throw; to wince; to flounce.
    • 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.