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fleet2

[fleet] /flit/
adjective, fleeter, fleetest.
1.
swift; rapid:
to be fleet of foot; a fleet horse.
verb (used without object)
2.
to move swiftly; fly.
3.
Nautical. to change position; shift.
4.
Archaic.
  1. to glide along like a stream.
  2. to fade; vanish.
5.
Obsolete. to float; drift; swim.
verb (used with object)
6.
to cause (time) to pass lightly or swiftly.
7.
Nautical.
  1. to move or change the position of.
  2. to separate the blocks of (a tackle).
  3. to lay (a rope) along a deck.
Origin of fleet2
900
before 900; Middle English fleten to be fleet, Old English flēotan to float; see float
Related forms
fleetly, adverb
fleetness, noun
Synonyms
6. speed, hasten; beguile.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for fleeter
Historical Examples
  • It was fleeter than any horse, and bade defiance to the puny efforts of man to overtake it.

  • Fleet of foot were Hagen and the King, yet fleeter still was Siegfried.

    Stories of Siegfried Mary MacGregor
  • McLeod made a desperate effort to get into the running, but Willard was fleeter.

    Left Half Harmon Ralph Henry Barbour
  • He was as fleet as a mountain deer, but the rifle-ball was fleeter.

    In the Track of the Troops R.M. Ballantyne
  • Instantly she turned, and, fleeter than a deer, made for a point in the stockade some distance from the entrance.

  • The boys were fleeter of foot, but Farmer Ellison knew the ground.

    The Rival Campers Ashore Ruel Perley Smith
  • Broomsticks, Bertram—but in their day there were no fleeter limbs in Rugby.

    Miss Primrose Roy Rolfe Gilson
  • Ali had taken to his heels and, so far, he had proved that he was fleeter than his pursuer.

    Hi Jolly! James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • She was fleeter than Gerda, she struck harder than Kay, she was trickier than all of them, the beloved girl.

    Dangerous Ages Rose Macaulay
  • She was younger than Burl—perhaps eighteen—and fleeter of foot.

    The Forgotten Planet Murray Leinster
British Dictionary definitions for fleeter

fleet1

/fliːt/
noun
1.
a number of warships organized as a tactical unit
2.
all the warships of a nation
3.
a number of aircraft, ships, buses, etc, operating together or under the same ownership
Word Origin
Old English flēot ship, flowing water, from flēotan to float

fleet2

/fliːt/
adjective
1.
rapid in movement; swift
2.
(poetic) fleeting; transient
verb
3.
(intransitive) to move rapidly
4.
(intransitive) (archaic) to fade away smoothly; glide
5.
(transitive) (nautical)
  1. to change the position of (a hawser)
  2. to pass (a messenger or lead) to a hawser from a winch for hauling in
  3. to spread apart (the blocks of a tackle)
6.
(intransitive) (obsolete) to float or swim
7.
(transitive) (obsolete) to cause (time) to pass rapidly
Derived Forms
fleetly, adverb
fleetness, noun
Word Origin
probably Old English flēotan to float, glide rapidly; related to Old High German fliozzan to flow, Latin pluere to rain

fleet3

/fliːt/
noun
1.
(mainly Southeast English) a small coastal inlet; creek
Word Origin
Old English flēot flowing water; see fleet1

Fleet

/fliːt/
noun the Fleet
1.
a stream that formerly ran into the Thames between Ludgate Hill and Fleet Street and is now a covered sewer
2.
Also called Fleet Prison. (formerly) a London prison, esp used for holding debtors
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for fleeter

fleet

n.

Old English fleot "ship, raft, floating vessel," from fleotan "to float" (see fleet (v.)). Sense of "naval force" is pre-1200. The Old English word also meant "creek, inlet, flow of water," especially one into the Thames near Ludgate Hill, which lent its name to Fleet Street (home of newspaper and magazine houses, standing for "the English press" since 1882), Fleet prison, etc.

adj.

"swift," 1520s, but probably older than the record; apparently from or cognate with Old Norse fliotr "swift," and from the root of fleet (v.)). Related: Fleetness.

v.

Old English fleotan "to float, drift, flow, swim, sail," later (c.1200) "to flow," from Proto-Germanic *fleut- (cf. Old Frisian fliata, Old Saxon fliotan "to flow," Old High German fliozzan "to float, flow," German flieszen "to flow," Old Norse fliota "to float, flow"), from PIE root *pleu- "to flow, run, swim" (see pluvial).

Meaning "to glide away like a stream, vanish imperceptibly" is from c.1200; hence "to fade, to vanish" (1570s). Related: Fleeted; fleeting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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