O.E. fleon "take flight" (contracted class II strong verb; past tense fleah, pp. flogen), from P.Gmc. *thleukhanan (cf. O.H.G. fliohan, O.N. flöja, Du. vlieden, Ger. fliehen, Goth. þliuhan "to flee"), of unknown origin. Not found outside Germanic. Weak pt./pp. fled emerged M.E., under influence of Scandinavian. O.E. had a trans. form, geflieman "put to flight," which came in handy in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Related: Fleeing.