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fly1  audio  (fl) KEY 

flew  (fl) KEY , flown  (fln) KEY , fly·ing, flies  (flz) KEY 
  1. To engage in flight, especially:
    1. To move through the air by means of wings or winglike parts.
    2. To travel by air: We flew to Dallas.
    3. To operate an aircraft or spacecraft.
    1. To rise in or be carried through the air by the wind: a kite flying above the playground.
    2. To float or flap in the air: pennants flying from the masthead.
  2. To move or be sent through the air with great speed: bullets flying in every direction; a plate that flew from my hands when I stumbled.
    1. To move with great speed; rush or dart: The children flew down the hall. Rumors were flying during their absence.
    2. To flee; escape.
    3. To hasten; spring: flew to her students' defense.
  3. To pass by swiftly: a vacation flying by; youth that is soon flown.
  4. To be dissipated; vanish: Their small inheritance was quickly flown.
  5. past tense and past participle flied  (fld) KEY  Baseball To hit a fly ball.
  6. To undergo an explosive reaction; burst: The dropped plate flew into pieces. The motorist flew into a rage.
  7. Informal To gain acceptance or approval; go over: "However sophisticated the reasoning, this particular notion may not fly" (New York Times).
    1. To cause to fly or float in the air: fly a kite; fly a flag.
    2. Nautical To operate under (a particular flag): a tanker that flies the Liberian flag.
    1. To pilot (an aircraft or a spacecraft).
    2. To carry or transport in an aircraft or a spacecraft: fly emergency supplies to a stricken area.
    3. To pass over or through in flight: flew the coastal route in record time.
    4. To perform in a spacecraft or an aircraft: flew six missions into space.
    1. To flee or run from: fly a place in panic.
    2. To avoid; shun: fly temptation.
pl. flies
  1. The act of flying; flight.
    1. A fold of cloth that covers a fastening of a garment, especially one on the front of trousers.
    2. The fastening or opening covered by such a fold.
  2. A flap that covers an entrance or forms a rooflike extension for a tent or the canopy of a vehicle.
  3. A flyleaf.
  4. Baseball A fly ball.
    1. The span of a flag from the staff to the outer edge.
    2. The outer edge of a flag.
  5. A flywheel.
  6. flies The area directly over the stage of a theater, containing overhead lights, drop curtains, and equipment for raising and lowering sets.
  7. Chiefly British A one-horse carriage, especially one for hire.

fly at
To attack fiercely; assault: The dogs flew at each other's throats.

fly high
To be elated: They were flying high after their first child was born.
fly off the handle Informal
To become suddenly enraged: flew off the handle when the train was finally canceled.
let fly
  1. To shoot, hurl, or release: The troops let fly a volley of gunfire.
  2. To lash out; assault: The mayor let fly with an angry attack on her critics.
on the fly
  1. On the run; in a hurry: took lunch on the fly.
  2. While in the air; in flight: caught the ball on the fly.

Middle English flien, from Old English flogan; see pleu- in Indo-European roots


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