From Middle English winge, wenge, from Old Norse vængr ("wing of a flying animal, wing of a building"; compare vængi (“ship's cabin”)), from Proto-Germanic *wēingaz, *wēingô. Cognate with Danish vinge (“wing”), Swedish vinge (“wing”), Icelandic vængur (“wing”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂weh₁- (“to blow”), thus related to wind.
Replaced native Middle English fither (from Old English fiþre, from Proto-Germanic *fiþriją), which merged with Middle English fether (from Old English feþer, from Proto-Germanic *feþrō). More at feather.
wing (plural wings)
- An appendage of an animal's (bird, bat, insect) body that enables it to fly
- The bird was flapping its wings
- A fin at the side of a ray or similar fish
- (slang) Human arm.
- (aviation) Part of an aircraft that produces the lift for rising into the air.
- I took my seat on the plane, overlooking the wing.
- One of the large pectoral fins of a flying fish.
- One of the broad, thin, anterior lobes of the foot of a pteropod, used as an organ in swimming.
- (botany) Any membranaceous expansion, such as that along the sides of certain stems, or of a fruit of the kind called samara.
- (botany) Either of the two side petals of a papilionaceous flower.
- A side shoot of a tree or plant; a branch growing up by the side of another.
- Passage by flying; flight.
- to take wing
- c. 1606 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene ii]:
- Light thickens; and the crow / Makes wing to the rooky wood.
- Limb or instrument of flight; means of flight or of rapid motion.
- c. 1593 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Richard the Third: […]”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act IV, scene iii]:
- Fiery expedition be my wing.
- A part of something that is lesser in size than the main body, such as an extension from the main building.
- the west wing of the hospital
- the wings of a corkscrew
- 2017, Laura Bates, Girl Up, page 8:
- It's a bit annoying but (like sanitary pads with wings) it's worth it if you want to stay extra secure.
- Anything that agitates the air as a wing does, or is put in winglike motion by the action of the air, such as a fan or vane for winnowing grain, the vane or sail of a windmill, etc.
- A protruding piece of material on a menstrual pad to hold it in place and prevent leakage.
- An ornament worn on the shoulder; a small epaulet or shoulder knot.
- A cosmetic effect where eyeliner curves outward and ends at a point.
- A faction of a political movement. Usually implies a position apart from the mainstream center position.
- An organizational grouping in a military aviation service:
- (Britain) A panel of a car which encloses the wheel area, especially the front wheels.
- (nautical) A platform on either side of the bridge of a vessel, normally found in pairs.
- (nautical) That part of the hold or orlop of a vessel which is nearest the sides. In a fleet, one of the extremities when the ships are drawn up in line, or when forming the two sides of a triangle.
- 1864, William M. Brady, The Kedge-anchor:
- their ends may rest a little below the orlop-wing gratings
- (sports) A position in several field games on either side of the field.
- Smith started the game in the centre of midfield, but moved to the wing after 30 minutes.
- (sports) A player occupying such a position, also called a winger
- (typography, informal, rare) A háček.
- 1985, David Grambs, Literary Companion Dictionary, page 378:
- ˇ wing, wedge, hǎcek, inverted circumflex (Karel Čapek)
- (theater) One of the unseen areas on the side of the stage in a theatre.
- 1930, Norman Lindsay, Redheap, Sydney, N.S.W.: Ure Smith, published 1965, →OCLC, page 176:
- The performers crowded breathlessly in the wings.
- (in the plural) The insignia of a qualified pilot or aircrew member.
- 2004, Chris Wallace, Character: Profiles in Presidential Courage:
- Anyone and everyone with wings - press officers, operations specialists, even General Curtis LeMay, commander of the U.S. Air Force in Europe - was put on flight duty and took turns flying double shifts for "Operation Vittles."
- A portable shelter consisting of a fabric roof on a frame, like a tent without sides.
- On the enneagram, one of the two adjacent types to an enneatype that forms an individual's subtype of his or her enneatype.
- Tom's a 4 on the enneagram, with a 3 wing.
- (panel of a car): fender (US), guard (Australia)
- (sports position): forward
- (U.S. Air Force): delta (U.S. Space Force), garrison (U.S. Space Force)
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
wing (third-person singular simple present wings, present participle winging, simple past and past participle winged or (nonstandard) wung)
- (transitive) To injure slightly (as with a gunshot), especially in the wing or arm.
- (intransitive) To fly.
- 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “Afterglow”, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC, page 168:
- Breezes blowing from beds of iris quickened her breath with their perfume; she saw the tufted lilacs sway in the wind, and the streamers of mauve-tinted wistaria swinging, all a-glisten with golden bees; she saw a crimson cardinal winging through the foliage, and amorous tanagers flashing like scarlet flames athwart the pines.
- (transitive, of a building) To add a wing (extra part) to.
- (transitive) To act or speak extemporaneously; to improvise; to wing it.
- I lost all my notes I'd made, so was partially winging the meeting.
- (transitive) To throw.
- (transitive) To furnish with wings.
- (transitive) To transport with, or as if with, wings; to bear in flight, or speedily.
- (transitive) To traverse by flying.
(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium. Particularly: “Onomatopoeic?”)
- (Hong Kong Cantonese, slang, of person) intoxicated; tipsy
- Alternative form of winge
- little (by amount)
From Middle English winge, wenge, from Old Norse vængr.
- (figurative) cross
- 1867, GLOSSARY OF THE DIALECT OF FORTH AND BARGY:
- Vour-wing leet.
- Four cross roads.
- Jacob Poole (1867), William Barnes, editor, A Glossary, With some Pieces of Verse, of the old Dialect of the English Colony in the Baronies of Forth and Bargy, County of Wexford, Ireland, London: J. Russell Smith, page 78