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2 [floo]


plural noun
the large, pendulous sides of the upper lip of certain dogs, as bloodhounds.

1565–75; origin uncertain


1 [flahy]
verb (used without object), flew or for 11, 19, flied, flown, flying.
to move through the air using wings.
to be carried through the air by the wind or any other force or agency: bits of paper flying about.
to float or flutter in the air: flags flying in the breeze.
to travel in an aircraft or spacecraft.
to move suddenly and quickly; start unexpectedly: He flew from the room.
to change rapidly and unexpectedly from one state or position to another: The door flew open.
to flee; escape.
to travel in space: The probe will fly past the planet.
to move or pass swiftly: How time flies!
to move with an aggressive surge: A mother fox will fly at anyone approaching her kits.
to bat a fly ball: He flied into right field.
to fly out.
Informal. to be acceptable, believable, or feasible: It seemed like a good idea, but it just wouldn't fly.
verb (used with object), flew or for 11, 19, flied, flown, flying.
to make (something) float or move through the air: to fly a kite.
to operate (an aircraft, spacecraft, or the like).
to hoist aloft, as for display, signaling, etc.: to fly a flag.
to operate an aircraft or spacecraft over: to fly the Pacific.
to transport or convey by air: We fly merchandise to Boston.
to escape from; flee: to fly someone's wrath.
to hang (scenery) above a stage by means of rigging supported by the gridiron.
to raise (scenery) from the stage or acting area into the flies.
noun, plural flies.
a strip of material sewn along one edge of a garment opening for concealing buttons, zippers, or other fasteners.
a flap forming the door of a tent.
Also called tent fly. a piece of canvas extending over the ridgepole of a tent and forming an outer roof.
an act of flying; a flight.
the course of a flying object, as a ball.
Baseball. fly ball.
British. a light, covered, public carriage drawn by one horse; hansom; hackney coach.
Machinery. a horizontal arm, weighted at each end, that pivots about the screw of a press so that when the screw is lowered the momentum of the fly will increase the force of the press.
Also called fan. Horology. a regulating device for chime and striking mechanisms, consisting of an arrangement of vanes on a revolving axis.
(in some presses) the apparatus for removing the printed sheets to the delivery table.
Also called flyboy. (formerly) a printer's devil employed to remove printed sheets from a press.
the horizontal dimension of a flag as flown from a vertical staff.
the end of the flag farther from the staff. Compare hoist ( def 7 ).
flies, Also called fly loft. Theater. the space above the stage used chiefly for storing scenery and equipment.
Nautical. a propellerlike device streamed to rotate and transfer information on speed to a mechanical log.
Verb phrases
fly out, Baseball, Softball. to be put out by hitting a fly ball that is caught by a player of the opposing team.
fly blind,
to operate an airplane, especially during conditions of poor visibility, relying solely on instruments for guidance.
to proceed with a complex task in the absence of directions by using one's own ability to determine what procedures to follow.
fly in the face of, to act in defiance of (authority, custom, etc.). Also, fly in the teeth of.
fly off the handle. handle ( def 16 ).
go fly a kite, Slang.
to put up with or get used to matters as they stand.
to confine oneself to one's own affairs.
to cease being a nuisance: If she gets mad enough she'll tell me to go fly a kite.
let fly,
to hurl or propel (a weapon, missile, etc.).
to give free rein to an emotion: She let fly with a barrage of angry words.
on the fly,
during flight; before falling to the ground: to catch a baseball on the fly.
hurriedly; without pausing: We had dinner on the fly.

before 900; Middle English flīen, Old English flēogan; cognate with Old High German fliogan, German fliegen, Old Norse fljuga

flyable, adjective
flyability, noun
nonflyable, adjective
reflyable, adjective
unflyable, adjective

1. Fly, flit, flutter, hover, soar refer to moving through the air as on wings. Fly is the general term: Birds fly. Airplanes fly. To flit is to make short rapid flights from place to place: A bird flits from tree to tree. To flutter is to agitate the wings tremulously, either without flying or in flying only short distances: A young bird flutters out of a nest and in again. To hover is to linger in the air, or to move over or about something within a narrow area or space: hovering clouds; a hummingbird hovering over a blossom. To soar is to (start to) fly upward to a great height usually with little advance in any other direction, or else to (continue to) fly at a lofty height without visible movement of the wings: Above our heads an eagle was soaring.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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World English Dictionary
flew1 (fluː)
the past tense of fly

flew2 (fluː)
a variant spelling of flue

flue or flew3 (fluː)
a type of fishing net
[Middle English, from Middle Dutch vlūwe]
flew or flew3
[Middle English, from Middle Dutch vlūwe]

flews (fluːz)
pl n
the fleshy hanging upper lip of a bloodhound or similar dog
[C16: of unknown origin]

fly1 (flaɪ)
vb , flies, flying, flew, flown
1.  (intr) (of birds, aircraft, etc) to move through the air in a controlled manner using aerodynamic forces
2.  to travel over (an area of land or sea) in an aircraft
3.  to operate (an aircraft or spacecraft)
4.  to float, flutter, or be displayed in the air or cause to float, etc, in this way: to fly a kite; they flew the flag
5.  to transport or be transported by or through the air by aircraft, wind, etc
6.  (intr) to move or be moved very quickly, forcibly, or suddenly: she came flying towards me; the door flew open
7.  (intr) to pass swiftly: time flies
8.  to escape from (an enemy, place, etc); flee: he flew the country
9.  (intr; may be foll by at or upon) to attack a person
10.  (intr) to have a sudden outburst: he flew into a rage again
11.  (intr) (of money, etc) to vanish rapidly
12.  (tr) falconry (of hawks) to fly at (quarry) in attack: peregrines fly rooks
13.  (tr) theatre to suspend (scenery) above the stage so that it may be lowered into view
14.  fly a kite
 a.  to procure money by an accommodation bill
 b.  to release information or take a step in order to test public opinion
15.  informal fly high
 a.  to have a high aim
 b.  to prosper or flourish
16.  fly in the face of See face
17.  informal fly off the handle to lose one's temper
18.  informal (US), (Canadian) fly the coop to leave suddenly
19.  informal (US), (Canadian) go fly a kite go away
20.  informal let fly
 a.  to lose one's temper (with a person): she really let fly at him
 b.  to shoot or throw (an object)
n , flies, flying, flew, flown, flies
21.  (often plural) Also called: fly front a closure that conceals a zip, buttons, or other fastening, by having one side overlapping, as on trousers
22.  Also called: fly sheet
 a.  a flap forming the entrance to a tent
 b.  a piece of canvas drawn over the ridgepole of a tent to form an outer roof
23.  a small air brake used to control the chiming of large clocks
24.  the horizontal weighted arm of a fly press
25.  a.  the outer edge of a flag
 b.  Compare hoist the distance from the outer edge of a flag to the staff
26.  (Brit) a light one-horse covered carriage formerly let out on hire
27.  (Austral), (NZ) an attempt: I'll give it a fly
28.  printing
 a.  a device for transferring printed sheets from the press to a flat pile
 b.  Also called: flyhand a person who collects and stacks printed matter from a printing press
 c.  a piece of paper folded once to make four pages, with printing only on the first page
29.  (plural) theatre the space above the stage out of view of the audience, used for storing scenery, etc
30.  rare the act of flying
[Old English flēogan; related to Old Frisian fliāga, Old High German fliogan, Old Norse fljūga]

fly2 (flaɪ)
n , pl flies
1.  horsefly blowfly tsetse fly See also crane fly any dipterous insect, esp the housefly, characterized by active flight
2.  any of various similar but unrelated insects, such as the caddis fly, firefly, dragonfly, and chalcid fly
3.  angling dry fly See also wet fly a lure made from a fish-hook dressed with feathers, tinsel, etc, to resemble any of various flies or nymphs: used in fly-fishing
4.  (in southern Africa) an area that is infested with the tsetse fly
5.  slang (Austral) drink with the flies to drink alone
6.  fly in amber See amber
7.  informal fly in the ointment a slight flaw that detracts from value, completeness, or enjoyment
8.  fly on the wall a person who watches others, while not being noticed himself or herself
9.  informal there are no flies on him he is no fool
[Old English flēoge; related to Old Norse fluga Old High German flioga; see fly1]

fly3 (flaɪ)
adj , flyer, flyest
1.  chiefly (Brit) knowing and sharp; smart
2.  chiefly (Scot) furtive or sneaky
3.  chiefly (Scot) on the fly in secret; sneakily
[C19: of uncertain origin]

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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Word Origin & History

p.t. of fly (v.1), q.v.

O.E. fleoge, from P.Gmc. *fleugjon (cf. O.S. fleiga, O.N. fluga, M.Du. vlieghe, Ger. Fliege "fly); lit. "the flying (insect)" (cf. O.E. fleogende "flying"), from same source as fly(v.1). Originally "any winged insect" (hence butterfly, etc.); long used by farmers and gardeners for any insect parasite.
The O.E. plural in -n (cf. oxen) gradually normalized 13c.-15c. to -s. Slang adj. meaning "clever, alert, wide awake" first recorded 18c., perhaps from the notion of the insect being hard to catch (other theories, however, trace it to fledge or flash); 1990s use may be a revival or a reinvention. Fly on the wall "unseen observer" first recorded 1949. An O.E. word for "curtain" was fleonet "fly-net." Fly-swatter first attested 1917. Fly-fishing is from 1650s.

"to soar through air," O.E. fleogan (class II strong verb; past tense fleag, pp. flogen), from W.Gmc. *fleuganan (cf. O.H.G. fliogan, O.N. flügja, M.Du. vlieghen, Ger. fliegen), from PIE *pleu- "flowing, floating" (cf. Lith. plaukiu "to swim"). Notion of "flapping as a wing does" led to noun sense
of "tent flap" (1810), which yielded (1844) "covering for buttons that close up a garment." Slang phrase fly off the handle "lose one's cool" dates from 1825. On the fly is 1851.

"run away," O.E. fleon (see flee). Fleogan and fleon were often confused in O.E., too. Mod.Eng. distinguishes in preterite: flew/fled.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

fly (flī)
Any of numerous two-winged insects of the order Diptera.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
fly   (flī)  Pronunciation Key 
Any of numerous insects of the order Diptera, having one pair of wings and large compound eyes. Flies include the houseflies, horseflies, and mosquitoes. See more at dipteran.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Fly definition

Heb. zebub, (Eccl. 10:1; Isa. 7:18). This fly was so grievous a pest that the Phoenicians invoked against it the aid of their god Baal-zebub (q.v.). The prophet Isaiah (7:18) alludes to some poisonous fly which was believed to be found on the confines of Egypt, and which would be called by the Lord. Poisonous flies exist in many parts of Africa, for instance, the different kinds of tsetse. Heb. 'arob, the name given to the insects sent as a plague on the land of Egypt (Ex. 8:21-31; Ps. 78:45; 105:31). The LXX. render this by a word which means the "dog-fly," the cynomuia. The Jewish commentators regarded the Hebrew word here as connected with the word _'arab_, which means "mingled;" and they accordingly supposed the plague to consist of a mixed multitude of animals, beasts, reptiles, and insects. But there is no doubt that "the _'arab_" denotes a single definite species. Some interpreters regard it as the Blatta orientalis, the cockroach, a species of beetle. These insects "inflict very painful bites with their jaws; gnaw and destroy clothes, household furniture, leather, and articles of every kind, and either consume or render unavailable all eatables."

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
The next day he took his two sons to the barn with him, and again the crows
  flew off.
In the photograph, he's proudly showing his father some sort of gizmo that had
  to do with the airplanes he flew.
And at one point the patient's arm disappeared and one of the nursing students
  inadvertently flew out of the room.
Another candidate flew a long distance to our campus, at his own expense, to
  meet with the head of the search committee.
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