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fly-by-night

[flahy-bahy-nahyt] /ˈflaɪ baɪˌnaɪt/
adjective
1.
not reliable or responsible, especially in business; untrustworthy:
a fly-by-night operation.
2.
not lasting; brief; impermanent; transitory:
a fly-by-night theater.
noun, Also, fly-by-nighter
3.
a person or thing that is unreliable, especially a debtor who evades or attempts to evade creditors.
4.
a person regarded as a poor credit risk.
Origin
1790-1800
1790-1800
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for more fly-by-night

fly-by-night

adjective
1.
unreliable or untrustworthy, esp in finance
2.
brief; impermanent
noun
3.
an untrustworthy person, esp one who departs secretly or by night to avoid paying debts
4.
a person who goes out at night to places of entertainment
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 more fly-by-night

fly-by-night

n.

1796, slang, said to be an old term of reproach to a woman signifying that she was a witch; extended 1823 to "anyone who departs hastily from a recent activity," especially while owing money. The two senses involve the two verbs fly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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more fly-by-night in Culture

fly-by-night definition


Shady or untrustworthy: “Before buying stock in a newly formed company, the prudent investor will check its owners' credentials to make sure it's not a fly-by-night operation.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for more fly-by-night

fly-by-night

adjective

Undependable and dishonest: fly-bynight correspondence school


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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