How fleetly goes winnowing on the air even the weariest waving of Time's care-laden wings!
fleetly David footed the stairs and returned with two soup plates.
fleetly he fled, pursued as far as the gate by the whole body of Penrod, and thereafter by Penrod's voice alone.
Night that comes so fleetly in this country dropped like a veil.
A few Virginians, fleetly mounted, would provoke pursuit from a squad of Federals, and the latter would be led into ambuscades.
fleetly gaining her room, and dropping upon a chair, 'I must fly!
Scarcely an hour passed ere Trude returned as fleetly as she went.
They were aroused; he was fleetly mounted, but they came behind in sledges.
Miss Muir was gone as she spoke, so fleetly that it was in vain to call her back or catch her.
She ran now, fleetly, lightly, the ground seeming to spur her on.
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.
"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.
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.