WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2015
fly1 /flaɪ/USA pronunciation
v., flew/flu/USA pronunciationor, for11,flied, flown/floʊn/,USA pronunciationfly•ing,n., pl. flies.
[no object] to move through the air using wings:Outside the birds were flying.
[no object] to be carried or move through the air or through space by any force or agency:The jet can fly at the speed of sound.
Aeronautics[no object] to travel in an aircraft or spacecraft:The family flew to California.
Aeronauticsto operate an aircraft or spacecraft: [no object]The pilot flew to Hawaii.[~ + object]The pilot flew a variety of aircraft.
Aeronautics, Aerospace[~ + object] to operate an aircraft or spacecraft over (an area):to fly the Pacific.
Aeronautics[~ + object] to transport or convey by air:The army flew him to its secret base.
to (cause to) float or flutter in the air: [no object]The king's banner flew over his tent.[~ + object]He tried to fly his kite.
[no object] to pass swiftly:How time flies!
[no object] to move with often sudden swiftness:cars flying by us; flew into a rage.
[no object] to flee;
escape:He was warned to fly from the sheriff's wrath.
Sport[no object] to bat a fly ball in baseball:The last hitter flied to right field.
Informal Terms[no object][Informal.]to be believable or feasible:It seemed like a good idea, but it just wouldn't fly.
fly at, [~ + at + object] to attack suddenly:flew at him and scratched his face.
Clothinga fold of material that conceals fasteners in a garment opening.
a flap forming the door of a tent.
fly2 /flaɪ/USA pronunciation
n. [countable],pl. flies.
- Idiomsfly high, [no obj] to be full of happiness or excitement:The workers were all flying high until the bad news arrived.
- Idiomsfly in the face or teeth of, [ ~ + obj] to act in defiance of:to fly in the face of tradition.
- Idiomsfly off the handle, [no obj][Informal.]to become very angry, esp. without warning.
- to hurl or propel (an object): [no object]let fly with several snowballs.[let + ~ + object]She let fly a few snowballs.
- [no object] to let one's anger out:let fly with an insult.
- Idiomson the fly, hurriedly:We had dinner on the fly.
- Insectsa two-winged insect, such as the common housefly.
- Sporta fishing lure dressed to resemble an insect or small fish.
- Idiomsfly in the ointment, something that spoils an otherwise pleasant thing:The fly in the ointment is that there is no money to finish the job.
Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::
fly /flaɪ/ vb (flies, flying, flew, flown)
n ( pl flies)
- (intransitive) (of birds, aircraft, etc) to move through the air in a controlled manner using aerodynamic forces
- to travel over (an area of land or sea) in an aircraft
- to operate (an aircraft or spacecraft)
- 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
- to transport or be transported by or through the air by aircraft, wind, etc
- (intransitive) to move or be moved very quickly, forcibly, or suddenly: she came flying towards me, the door flew open
- (intransitive) to pass swiftly: time flies
- to escape from (an enemy, place, etc); flee
- (intr; may be followed by at or upon) to attack a person
- fly a kite ⇒ to procure money by an accommodation bill
- to release information or take a step in order to test public opinion
- fly high ⇒ informal to have a high aim
- to prosper or flourish
- fly the coop ⇒ US Canadian informal to leave suddenly
- let fly ⇒ informal to lose one's temper (with a person): she really let fly at him
- to shoot or throw (an object)
Etymology: Old English flēogan; related to Old Frisian fliāga, Old High German fliogan, Old Norse fljūgaˈflyable adj
- Also called: fly front (often plural) a closure that conceals a zip, buttons, or other fastening, by having one side overlapping, as on trousers
Also called: fly sheet a flap forming the entrance to a tent
- a piece of canvas drawn over the ridgepole of a tent to form an outer roof
- the outer edge of a flag
- the distance from the outer edge of a flag to the staff
- Brit a light one-horse covered carriage formerly let out on hire
- (plural) the space above the stage out of view of the audience, used for storing scenery, etc
- rare the act of flying
fly /flaɪ/ n ( pl flies)
Etymology: Old English flēoge; related to Old Norse fluga Old High German flioga; see fly1ˈflyless adj
- any dipterous insect, esp the housefly, characterized by active flight
- any of various similar but unrelated insects, such as the caddis fly, firefly, dragonfly, and chalcid 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
- fly in the ointment ⇒ informal a slight flaw that detracts from value, completeness, or enjoyment
- fly on the wall ⇒ a person who watches others, while not being noticed himself or herself
- there are no flies on him ⇒ informal he is no fool
fly /flaɪ/ adj (flyer, flyest) slang
Etymology: 19th Century: of uncertain origin
- chiefly Brit knowing and sharp; smart
'flies' also found in these entries: