English Wikipedia has an article on:


  • IPA(key): /ˈflaɪ.ɪŋ/
  • Audio (US):(file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪɪŋ
  • Hyphenation: fly‧ing

Etymology 1


From Middle English fleynge, fleeʒinge, flihinde, vlyinde, vleoinde, flyand, ffleghand, flighand (also fleoninde, fleonninde, etc.), from Old English flēogende, from Proto-Germanic *fleugandz (flying), present participle of Proto-Germanic *fleuganą (to fly), equivalent to fly +‎ -ing. Cognate with Saterland Frisian fljoogend (flying), West Frisian fleanend (flying), Dutch vliegend (flying), German Low German flegend (flying), German fliegend (flying), Danish flyvende (flying), Swedish flygande (flying), Icelandic fljúgandi (flying).



flying (not comparable)

  1. That flies or can fly.
    Antonym: flightless
    flying fox
    a flying rumour
    • 1836, Lysander Spooner, The Deist's Reply to the Alleged Supernatural Evidences of Christianity[1], Boston, page 34:
      Matthew (26—6 to 13), Mark (14—3 to 9), and Luke (7—37 and 38) also heard of, and related, the circumstance of Mary, whom John says (11 — 2) was the sister of Lazarus, anointing the head of Jesus with ointment, yet they neither of them utter a syllable about his raising her brother from the dead. It is difficult to account for this fact, unless we suppose that John was actually dishonest, or that he took up, believed and recorded a flying story, which an occurrence of some kind had given rise to, but which was without any foundation in truth.
  2. Brief or hurried.
    flying visit
  3. Capable of speed
  4. (nautical, of a sail) Not secured by yards.
  5. (nautical, of a vessel) Capable of foiling.
    Flying ferries are the watercraft of the future!
  6. Designating a cattle brand consisting of a letter extended on both sides with tilde-like curved lines.
    Coordinate term: lazy
    • 1911, Boys' Life, volume 1, number 1, page 25:
      He brands his cow W (flying W) or — (two-bar).
    • 1972, Willie Newbury Lewis, Tapadero: The Making of a Cowboy, page 154:
      [] some seventy-five cows belonging to William and Bernie with a Flying W []
    • 2013, Janette Kenny, One Real Cowboy:
      Wyles cut the fence, keeping the Flying D cowboys occupied rounding up their cattle.
Derived terms




  1. present participle and gerund of fly

Etymology 2


From Middle English flyinge, fleyng, fleyinge, fleynge, fleghyng, fleiʒeyng, flyeghynge, equivalent to fly +‎ -ing. Cognate with Danish flyvning (flying), Swedish flygning (flying), Norwegian flyvning, flygning, flyging, flying (flying).



flying (countable and uncountable, plural flyings)

  1. (countable, aviation) An act of flight.
    • 1993, John C. Greene, Gladys L. H. Clark, The Dublin Stage, 1720-1745, page 58:
      "Flyings" could vary considerably in complexity and lavishness and could involve an actor or property being either lifted from the stage into the flies above or vice versa. As Colin Visser has observed, flyings and sinkings are both "associated with supernatural manifestations of various kinds" []
  2. (uncountable, aerodynamics) The action or process of sustained motion through the air.
    • c. 1503–1512, John Skelton, Ware the Hauke; republished in John Scattergood, editor, John Skelton: The Complete English Poems, 1983, →OCLC, page 63, lines 66–70:
      His seconde hawke wexyd gery
      And was with flyenge wery.
      She had flowyn so oft,
      That on the rode loft
      She perkyd her to rest.
  3. (uncountable, nautical) The action of sustained hydrodynamic lift on hydrofoils lifting the vessel hull lifted out of the water, for sustained motion across water.
    Synonyms: foiling, hydrofoiling
MiG-17F flying
Derived terms