fleeting

[flee-ting]
adjective
passing swiftly; vanishing quickly; transient; transitory: fleeting beauty; a fleeting glance.

Origin:
1325–75; Middle English; see fleet2, -ing2

fleetingly, adverb
fleetingness, noun
unfleeting, adjective


passing, flitting, flying, brief, fugitive.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

fleet

2 [fleet]
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.
a.
to glide along like a stream.
b.
to fade; vanish.
5.
Obsolete. to float; drift; swim.
verb (used with object)
6.
to cause (time) to pass lightly or swiftly.
7.
Nautical.
a.
to move or change the position of.
b.
to separate the blocks of (a tackle).
c.
to lay (a rope) along a deck.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English fleten to be fleet, Old English flēotan to float; see float

fleetly, adverb
fleetness, noun


6. speed, hasten; beguile.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
fleet1 (fliːt)
 
n
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
 
[Old English flēot ship, flowing water, from flēotan to float]

fleet2 (fliːt)
 
adj
1.  rapid in movement; swift
2.  poetic fleeting; transient
 
vb
3.  (intr) to move rapidly
4.  archaic (intr) to fade away smoothly; glide
5.  (tr) nautical
 a.  to change the position of (a hawser)
 b.  to pass (a messenger or lead) to a hawser from a winch for hauling in
 c.  to spread apart (the blocks of a tackle)
6.  obsolete (intr) to float or swim
7.  obsolete (tr) to cause (time) to pass rapidly
 
[probably Old English flēotan to float, glide rapidly; related to Old High German fliozzan to flow, Latin pluere to rain]
 
'fleetly2
 
adv
 
'fleetness2
 
n

fleet3 (fliːt)
 
n
chiefly (Southeast English) a small coastal inlet; creek
 
[Old English flēot flowing water; see fleet1]

Fleet (fliːt)
 
n
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

fleeting (ˈfliːtɪŋ)
 
adj
rapid and transient: a fleeting glimpse of the sea
 
'fleetingly
 
adv
 
'fleetingness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

fleet
O.E. fleot "ship, floating vessel," from fleotan "to float," from P.Gmc. *fleut-, from PIE base *pleu- "to flow, run, swim." Sense of "naval force" is pre-1200. The O.E. 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.

fleeting
early 13c., from O.E. fleotende "floating, drifting," later "flying, moving swiftly," from O.E. fleotan (see fleet (n.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
They know people who have either been murdered or kidnapped for fleeting
  political gain.
Fleeting glances conveying warmth cannot sustain the relationship.
Swift scans the skies, constantly observing, always on its toes for that
  fleeting blast of high-energy light.
Fleeting sea and plant aromas are delightful signs of freshness in a fish.
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