fly ( flies plural & 3rd person present) ( flying present participle) ( flew past tense) ( flown past participle )
1 n-count A fly is a small insect with two wings. There are many kinds of flies, and the most common are black in colour.
2 verb When something such as a bird, insect, or aircraft flies, it moves through the air.
The planes flew through the clouds... V prep/adv
The bird flew away. V prep/adv, Also V
3 verb If you fly somewhere, you travel there in an aircraft.
He flew back to London... V prep/adv
Mr Baker flew in from Moscow. V prep/adv
4 verb When someone flies an aircraft, they control its movement in the air.
Parker had successfully flown both aircraft... V n
He flew a small plane to Cuba... V n prep/adv
His inspiration to fly came even before he joined the Army. V
...a flying instructor.
5 verb To fly someone or something somewhere means to take or send them there in an aircraft.
The relief supplies are being flown from a warehouse in Pisa. V n adv/prep
6 verb If something such as your hair is flying about, it is moving about freely and loosely in the air.
His long, uncovered hair flew back in the wind... V adv/prep
She was running down the stairs, her hair flying. V
7 verb If you fly a flag or if it is flying, you display it at the top of a pole.
They flew the flag of the African National Congress... V n
A flag was flying on the new military HQ. V
8 verb If you say that someone or something flies in a particular direction, you are emphasizing that they move there with a lot of speed or force., (emphasis)
I flew downstairs... V prep/adv
9 n-count The front opening on a pair of trousers is referred to as the fly, or in British English the flies. It usually consists of a zip or row of buttons behind a band of cloth.
11 If you say that someone wouldn't hurt a fly or wouldn't harm a fly, you are emphasizing that they are very kind and gentle.
wouldn't harm a fly phrase with brd-neg, V inflects (emphasis)
...a lovely girl, who would not have harmed a fly.
12 If you let fly, you attack someone, either physically by hitting them, or with words by insulting them.
let fly phrase V inflects
A simmering row ended with her letting fly with a stream of obscenities.
13 If you send someone or something flying or if they go flying, they move through the air and fall down with a lot of force.
send someone/something flying phrase V inflects, PHR after v
The blow sent the young man flying.
14 If you say that you would like to be a fly on the wall in a situation that does not involve you, you mean that you would like to see or hear what happens in that situation.
fly on the wall phrase v-link PHR
What I'd give to be a fly on the wall when Davis finds out what's happened to his precious cargo.
as the crow flies →
to fly in the face of →
to fly the flag →
to fly off the handle →
a fly in the ointment →
pigs might fly →
sparks fly →
time flies →
time fly at phrasal verb If you fly at someone, you attack them, either physically by hitting them, or with words by insulting them.
(=let fly at) She flew at him for making a very anti-British remark. V P n fly into phrasal verb If you fly into a bad temper or a panic, you suddenly become very angry or anxious and show this in your behaviour. Losing a game would cause him to fly into a rage. V P n
1 adj A flying animal has wings and is able to fly.
...species of flying insects.
2 If someone or something gets off to a flying start, or makes a flying start, they start very well, for example in a race or a new job.
get off to a flying start phrase V inflects
Advertising revenue in the new financial year has got off to a flying start...
flying doctor ( flying doctors plural ) A flying doctor is a doctor, especially in Australia, who travels by aircraft to visit patients who live in distant or isolated areas. n-count
flying fish ( flying fish plural) ( flying fishes plural ) Flying fish are a type of fish that live in warm seas. They have large fins that enable them to move forward in the air when they jump out of the water. n-var
flying saucer ( flying saucers plural ) A flying saucer is a round, flat object which some people say they have seen in the sky and which they believe to be a spacecraft from another planet.
The Flying Squad is a group of police officers who are always ready to travel quickly to the scene of a serious crime.
(BRIT) n-proper-coll the N
flying visit ( flying visits plural ) A flying visit is a visit that only lasts a very short time. n-count
A high-flying person is successful or is likely to be successful in their career. adj usu ADJ n
...her high-flying newspaper-editor husband.
Low-flying aircraft or birds are flying very close to the ground, or lower than normal. adj ADJ n