• Dragon-fly moulting
    Dragon-fly moulting
  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj fly (British informal) not to be deceived or hoodwinked
    • v fly decrease rapidly and disappear "the money vanished in las Vegas","all my stock assets have vaporized"
    • v fly change quickly from one emotional state to another "fly into a rage"
    • v fly hit a fly
    • v fly transport by aeroplane "We fly flowers from the Caribbean to North America"
    • v fly be dispersed or disseminated "Rumors and accusations are flying"
    • v fly travel in an airplane "she is flying to Cincinnati tonight","Are we driving or flying?"
    • v fly move quickly or suddenly "He flew about the place"
    • v fly travel over (an area of land or sea) in an aircraft "Lindbergh was the first to fly the Atlantic"
    • v fly cause to fly or float "fly a kite"
    • v fly travel through the air; be airborne "Man cannot fly"
    • v fly operate an airplane "The pilot flew to Cuba"
    • v fly pass away rapidly "Time flies like an arrow","Time fleeing beneath him"
    • v fly run away quickly "He threw down his gun and fled"
    • v fly display in the air or cause to float "fly a kite","All nations fly their flags in front of the U.N."
    • n fly (baseball) a hit that flies up in the air
    • n fly two-winged insects characterized by active flight
    • n fly an opening in a garment that is closed by a zipper or by buttons concealed under a fold of cloth
    • n fly fisherman's lure consisting of a fishhook decorated to look like an insect
    • n fly flap consisting of a piece of canvas that can be drawn back to provide entrance to a tent
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Faust and Mephistopheles fly out of the window Faust and Mephistopheles fly out of the window
He Let Both Heels Fly 133 He Let Both Heels Fly 133
Flying A Kite Flying A Kite
The prince holds on to the leg of the flying stool The prince holds on to the leg of the flying stool
The tree flies away, stranding the treasure seekers The tree flies away, stranding the treasure seekers
The hawk flies away with the lamp The hawk flies away with the lamp
Trying Out the Flying Machine Trying Out the Flying Machine

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The only flying saucer launch pad in the world is located in St. Paul, Alberta, Canada
    • Fly (Baseball) A batted ball that flies to a considerable distance, usually high in the air; also, the flight of a ball so struck; as, it was caught on the fly . Also called fly ball. "a fly deep into right field"
    • Fly A familiar spirit; a witch's attendant. "A trifling fly , none of your great familiars."
    • Fly (Mech) A heavy wheel, or cross arms with weights at the ends on a revolving axis, to regulate or equalize the motion of machinery by means of its inertia, where the power communicated, or the resistance to be overcome, is variable, as in the steam engine or the coining press. See Fly wheelbelow).
    • Fly A hook dressed in imitation of a fly, -- used for fishing. "The fur-wrought fly ."
    • Fly A kind of light carriage for rapid transit, plying for hire and usually drawn by one horse.
    • Fly A parasite.
    • Fly (Weaving) A shuttle driven through the shed by a blow or jerk.
    • Fly A vibrating frame with fingers, attached to a power to a power printing press for doing the same work.
    • Fly (Zoöl) Any dipterous insect; as, the house fly; flesh fly; black fly. See Diptera, and Illust. in Append.
    • Fly (Zoöl) Any winged insect; esp., one with transparent wings; as, the Spanish fly; firefly; gall fly; dragon fly .
    • Fly Formerly, the person who took the printed sheets from the press.
    • a Fly Knowing; wide awake; fully understanding another's meaning.
    • Fly One of the upper screens of a stage in a theater.
    • Fly (Naut) That part of a compass on which the points are marked; the compass card.
    • Fly The fore flap of a bootee; also, a lap on trousers, overcoats, etc., to conceal a row of buttons.
    • Fly The length of an extended flag from its staff; sometimes, the length from the “union” to the extreme end.
    • Fly The outer canvas of a tent with double top, usually drawn over the ridgepole, but so extended as to touch the roof of the tent at no other place.
    • Fly The pair of arms revolving around the bobbin, in a spinning wheel or spinning frame, to twist the yarn.
    • Fly The part of a vane pointing the direction from which the wind blows.
    • Fly (Knitting Machine) The piece hinged to the needle, which holds the engaged loop in position while the needle is penetrating another loop; a latch.
    • Fly To cause to fly or to float in the air, as a bird, a kite, a flag, etc. "The brave black flag I fly ."
    • Fly To fly or flee from; to shun; to avoid. "Sleep flies the wretch.""To fly the favors of so good a king."
    • Fly To hunt with a hawk.
    • Fly To manage (an aircraft) in flight; as, to fly an aëroplane.
    • Fly (Mech) Two or more vanes set on a revolving axis, to act as a fanner, or to equalize or impede the motion of machinery by the resistance of the air, as in the striking part of a clock.
    • Fly (Cotton Manuf) Waste cotton.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The Arctic Tern, which is a small bird, can fly a round trip from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back. This can be as long as twenty thousand miles per year. This is the longest migration for a bird
    • fly To move through the air by the aid of wings, as birds.
    • fly To pass or move in air by the force of wind or any other impulse: as, clouds fly before the wind; a ball flies from a cannon, an arrow from a bow; the explosion made the gravel fly.
    • fly To rise, spring, shoot, or be cast in air, as smoke, sparks, or other light objects.
    • fly To move or pass with swiftness or alacrity; go rapidly or at full speed; rush; dart: as, to fly to the relief of a distressed friend; the ship flies before the wind; recriminations flew about.
    • fly To depart suddenly or swiftly; take flight; escape; flee: as, the rogue has flown; his fortune will soon fly.
    • fly To part suddenly or with violence; burst or be rent into fragments or shreds: as, the bottle flew into a thousand pieces; the sail flew in tatters.
    • fly To flutter; wave or play, as a flag in the wind.
    • fly To be evanescent; fade; disappear: said of colors: as, that color is sure to fly when the fabric is washed.
    • fly To hunt with a falcon; hawk.
    • fly To resist; set at defiance; oppose with violence; act in direct opposition to.
    • fly To revolt.
    • fly To evaporate or volatilize.
    • fly To break out in anger, uproar, or license.
    • fly To assail; abuse.
    • fly Nautical, to let go suddenly: as, let fly the sheets.
    • fly To cause to move through or float in the air: as, to fly carrier-pigeons; to fly a flag or a kite.
    • fly To attack by the flight of a falcon or hawk; fly at.
    • fly To flee from; shun; avoid as by flight; get away from: as, to fly the sight of one we hate.
    • n fly The act of flying, or passing through the air; flight.
    • n fly A state of flying: in the phrase on the fly (which see, below).
    • n fly Something having a rapid or flying motion, or some relation to such motion. In mech.: An arrangement of vanes on a revolving axis to regulate the motion of clockwork by the impact of the vanes against the air; a fanner: now chiefly used in musical boxes and the striking parts of clock-machinery. Some contrivance for regulating the motion of machinery, as a fly-wheel, or cross-arms loaded at the ends with heavy weights, and placed at right angles to the axis of a windlass, jack, or the like. See fly-wheel. Also called fly-governor.
    • n fly plural In a theater, the large space above the proscenium, extending over the whole of the stage, and including the borders, border-lights, many ropes, cleats, and pulleys, the beams to which these are attached, and the fly-galleries on either side from which the borders and drop-scenes are handled.
    • n fly A piece of canvas drawn over the ridge-pole of a tent, doubling the thickness of the roof, but not in contact with it except at the ridge-pole.
    • n fly The flap or door of a tent.
    • n fly A strip of material sewed to a garment, but differing from a flounce in being drawn straight without gathering, and usually serving some purpose other than mere ornament. Thus, in some coats the buttonholes are inserted in a fly, so that the buttons do not show when the coat is buttoned; sometimes the fly is sewed on beneath the buttonholes.
    • n fly In cotton-spinning, waste cotton.
    • n fly The hinged board which covers the keys of a piano or an organ when not in use
    • n fly In popular language, a flying insect of any common kind.
    • n fly In entomology, a two-winged insect; any one of the order Diptera, and especially of the family Muscidæ: commonly used with a qualifying or specific term: as, the house-fly, Musca domestica. See the compounded words.
    • n fly A fish-hook dressed with silk, tinsel, feathers, or other material, so as to resemble a fly or other insect, and used by anglers to entice fish.
    • n fly A familiar spirit: apparently a cant term with those who pretended to deal in magic and similar impostures.
    • n fly Figuratively, an insignificant thing; a thing of no value.
    • n fly Pl. flys (flīz). A kind of quick-running carriage; a light vehicle for passengers; a hackney-coach.
    • n fly An ephemerid; a shad-fly, May-fly, or day-fly. (See also cabbage-fly, forest-fly, hand-fly, radish-fly, robber-fly, saw-fly, stretcher-fly, etc.)
    • fly To convey in a fly.
    • fly To travel by a fly.
    • fly Knowing; wide-awake; quick to take one's meaning or intention: as, a fly young man.
    • n fly See vly.
    • n fly Nautical, an old-fashioned name for the compass-card.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The tsetse fly kills another 66,000 people annually.
    • v.i Fly flī to move through the air on wings: to move swiftly: to pass away: to flee: to burst quickly or suddenly: to flutter
    • v.t Fly to avoid, flee from: to cause to fly, as a kite:—pr.p. fly′ing; pa.t. flew (flōō); pa.p. flown (flōn)
    • n Fly a popular name best restricted in its simplicity to the insects forming the order Diptera, but often so widely used with a prefix—e.g. butterfly, dragon-fly, May-fly—as to be virtually equivalent to insect: a fish-hook dressed with silk, &c., in imitation of a fly: a light double-seated carriage, a hackney-coach: :
    • adj Fly wide-awake:
    • adj Fly (Shak.) moving slow as a fly on its feet
    • n Fly (mech.) a flywheel
    • n Fly (pl.) the large space above the proscenium in a theatre, from which the scenes, &c., are controlled
    • adj Fly (slang) knowing
    • ***


  • Samuel Johnson
    “A fly may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still.”
  • Golda Meir
    “Old age is like flying through a storm. Once you're aboard, there's nothing you can do.”
  • Douglas Adams
    “Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”
  • Gregory ''Pappy'' Boyington
    Gregory ''Pappy'' Boyington
    “Flying is hours and hours of boredom sprinkled with a few seconds of sheer terror.”
  • Gilbert K. Chesterton
    “Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.”
  • Percy Bysshe Shelley
    “Life may change, but it may fly not; Hope may vanish, but can die not; Truth be veiled, but still it burneth; Love repulsed, -- but it returneth.”


As the crow flies - This idiom is used to describe the shortest possible distance between two places.
Bar fly - A bar fly is a person who spends a lot of time drinking in different bars and pubs.
Drop like flies - This means that something is disappearing very quickly. For example, if you said people were dropping like flies, it would mean that they were dying off, quitting or giving up something rapidly.
Feathers fly - When people are fighting or arguing angrily, we can say that feathers are flying.
Fly by the seat of one's pants - If you fly by the seat of one's pants, you do something difficult even though you don't have the experience or training required.
Fly in the ointment - A fly in the ointment is something that spoils or prevents complete enjoyment of something.
Fly off the handle - If someone flies off the handle, they get very angry.
Fly on the wall - If you are able to see and hear events as they happen, you are a fly on the wall.
Fly the coop - When children leave home to live away from their parents, they fly the coop.
Fly the flag - If someone flies the flag, they represent or support their country. ('Wave the flag' and 'show the flag' are alternative forms of this idiom)
Go fly a kite - (USA) This is used to tell someone to go away and leave you alone.
If you fly with the crows, you get shot with the crows - If you wish to be associated with a particular high risk and/or high profile situation and benefit from the rewards of that association, you have to accept the consequences if things go wrong - you cannot dissociate yourself.
Not hurt a fly - Somebody who would not hurt a fly is not aggressive.
On the fly - If you do things on the fly, you do things without preparation, responding to events as they happen.
Pigs might fly - If you think something will never happen or succeed, you can say that 'pigs might fly' (or 'pigs can fly' and 'pigs will fly'- the idiom is used in many forms)


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. flie, flege, AS. flȳge, fleóge, fr. fleógan, to fly; akin to D. vlieg, OHG. flioga, G. fliege, Icel. & Sw. fluga, Dan. flue,. √ 84. See Fly (v. i.)


In literature:

The flying squirrel is covered with soft, fine fur, but the covering of the flying-sail is finer than that of any other part.
"Friends in Feathers and Fur, and Other Neighbors" by James Johonnot
There are several species known under various names, such as gad-fly, breeze-fly, etc.
"Insects and Diseases" by Rennie W. Doane
The flying-fish can fly, or rather, can leap into the air and glide for a distance of many yards.
"The War in the Air; Vol. 1" by Walter Raleigh
But when the sun had set she heard a noise, and saw six swans flying in at the window.
"The Yellow Fairy Book" by Leonora Blanche Alleyne Lang
The first time that I ever used my wings was in flying from behind a red curtain.
"Dick and His Cat and Other Tales" by Various
No planes were allowed to fly.
"Battling the Clouds" by Captain Frank Cobb
The imitation stone fly is about the only fly that should resemble the natural insect.
"Fishing in British Columbia" by Thomas Wilson Lambert
It was in fine flying condition.
"The Radio Boys with the Revenue Guards" by Gerald Breckenridge
Now, you will, perhaps, have guessed that this fly was not an ordinary fly, and you are right.
"Oswald Bastable and Others" by Edith Nesbit
Eli Greenglove, it was said, could shoot the wings off a fly one at a time at fifty yards and was wanted in Missouri for over a dozen murders.
"Shaman" by Robert Shea

In poetry:

Though reckless Lydia bid thee fly,
And Telephus o'ertaking jeer,
Nay, sit and strongly occupy
The lower gear.
"Carmen Circulare" by Rudyard Kipling
The little birds fly over
And oh, how sweet they sing!
To tell the happy children
That once again ’tis spring.
"Spring" by Celia Laighton Thaxter
Or than nightingale may fly
For her nesting grasses,
Or than with the west wind's sigh
Her soft warbling passes.
"To The Beloved From Afar" by Nikolaus Lenau
He follows follows every where,
He's still above--below,
Oh tell me where to fly from him!
Oh tell me where to go!
"The Sailor, Who Had Served In The Slave Trade." by Robert Southey
Fair Proserpina (quoth she)
Shall not have thee yet from me;
Nor my soul to fly begin
While my lips can keep it in.
""Venus" by William Browne of Tavistock
In watchings of the social sky
And soundings of its deep;
And where Oppression's vultures fly,
And sad Redeemers weep;
"A Keynote [Extract]" by Bernard O Dowd

In news:

A Dutch Touch in Flying (Right Down to the Flies).
It's almost like the line in the old popular children's song "Skip to My Lou": "Fly's in the buttermilk, shoo , fly, shoo ".
A study in Science shows that social fruit flies sleep more than isolated fruit flies.
If you're going to fly an American flag, don't disrespect it by flying it in a tattered condition.
If the search for answers to the question of human aging leads us to fruit fly testes , as it apparently has, then fruit fly testes are getting smeared on a slide and going under the microscope.
If you can't program a robot to fly, then program it so it will figure out how to fly without your help.
I.FLY Trapeze School is a recreational flying trapeze and aerial arts program.
VOLLEYBALL Flying Dutch Open Season With Four Victories The nationally ranked Flying Dutch lived up to their pre-season billing this past weekend posting four victories against opponents in Ohio.
After giving hundreds of people the chance to fly, a local man saw his dream of flying once more come true Sunday.
The Macon Aero Modelers Club is hosting a charity Fly-In at 9 am Sept 22 and 10 am Sept 23 at its flying field in Otto.
Rhody Fly Rodders member Dave Pollack reached a milestone a few weeks ago by catching his largest bass yet on the fly: 42 inches and estimated at over 35 pounds.
It has been said that when flying a Blackhawk mission to service the community can be very similar to police work, " you never know what you are walking (flying) into.".
Intermediate/Advanced Fly Casting Class: Improve your fly casting accuracy and distance with a variety of specially-made targets designed to make you a better fly fisher .
"Americans on no-fly list allowed to learn to fly" (, 7-18).
When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare " Infield Fly" for the benefit of the runners.

In science:

FLI to give a detailed discussion on the transition of the dynamics of spinning compact binaries from regular motion to chaos with variations of dynamical parameters or initial conditions.
Resurvey of order and chaos in spinning compact binaries
To illustrate the use of the invariant FLI, we begin by regenerating Fig.
Resurvey of order and chaos in spinning compact binaries
Since the invariant FLI has explicit merits, we shall borrow it to further gain an insight into the dynamics of spinning compact binaries.
Resurvey of order and chaos in spinning compact binaries
Now let us use the invariant FLI to check this fact.
Resurvey of order and chaos in spinning compact binaries
Clearly, the invariant FLI has been an invaluable and a computationally quicker tool to survey phase space for chaos by scanning huge numbers of orbits.
Resurvey of order and chaos in spinning compact binaries