American English

Definition of fly verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    In sense 15 flied is used for the past tense and past participle.Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they fly
    he / she / it flies
    past simple flew
    past participle flown
    -ing form flying
    jump to other results
    of bird/insect
  1. 1[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to move through the air, using wings A hawk flew in circles above the field. A wasp had flown in through the window.
  2. aircraft/spacecraft
  3. 2[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) (of an aircraft or a spacecraft) to move through air or space They were on a plane flying from Washington to New York. to fly at the speed of sound Northwest flies from Minneapolis to Seattle.
  4. 3[intransitive] to travel in an aircraft or a spacecraft Is this the first time that you've flown? fly (from…) (to…) I'm flying to Hong Kong tomorrow. + noun I always fly business class. We're flying Delta.
  5. 4[transitive, intransitive] fly (something) to control an aircraft, etc. in the air a pilot trained to fly large passenger planes children flying kites He's learning to fly.
  6. 5[transitive] + adv./prep. to transport goods or passengers in a plane The stranded tourists were finally flown home. He had flowers specially flown in for the ceremony.
  7. 6[transitive] fly something to travel over an ocean or area of land in an aircraft to fly the Atlantic
  8. move quickly/suddenly
  9. 7[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to go or move quickly The train was flying along. She gasped and her hand flew to her mouth. It's late—I've got to fly.
  10. 8[intransitive] to move suddenly and with force (+ adv./prep.) A large stone came flying in through the window. Several people were hit by flying glass. + adj. David gave the door a kick and it flew open.
  11. of time
  12. 9[intransitive] to seem to pass very quickly Doesn't time fly? fly by/past This summer just flew by.
  13. flag
  14. 10[intransitive, transitive] if a flag flies, or if you fly it, it is displayed, for example on a long pole Flags were flying at half mast on all public buildings. fly something to fly the Stars and Stripes
  15. move freely
  16. 11[intransitive] to move around freely hair flying in the wind
  17. of stories/rumors
  18. 12[intransitive] to be talked about by many people
  19. escape
  20. 13[transitive, intransitive] fly (something) (formal) to escape from someone or something Both suspects have flown the country. compare flee
  21. of plan
  22. 14[intransitive] (informal) to be successful It remains to be seen whether his project will fly.
  23. in baseball
  24. 15(flies, flying, flied, flied) [intransitive, transitive] fly (something) to hit a ball high into the air
  25. Idioms
    as the crow flies
    jump to other results
    in a straight line The villages are no more than a mile apart as the crow flies.
    (fly) by the seat of your pants (informal)
    jump to other results
    to act without careful thought and without a plan that you have made in advance, hoping that you will be lucky and be successful synonym wing it
    fly the coop (informal)
    jump to other results
    to escape from a place
    fly/show/wave the flag
    jump to other results
    to show your support for your country, an organization, or an idea to encourage or persuade others to do the same
    to be successful The rapper has been flying high recently, winning several coveted awards.
    fly in the face of something
    jump to other results
    to oppose or be the opposite of something that is usual or expected Such a proposal flies in the face of common sense.
    fly into a rage, temper, etc.
    jump to other results
    to become suddenly very angry
    fly off the handle (informal)
    jump to other results
    to suddenly become very angry He seems to fly off the handle at the slightest thing these days.
    fly/go (right) out the window (informal)
    jump to other results
    to stop existing; to disappear completely As soon as the kids arrived, peace went out the window.
    go flying (informal)
    jump to other results
    to fall, especially as a result of not seeing something under your feet She tripped over the rug and went flying.
    go fly a kite (informal)
    jump to other results
    used to tell someone to go away and stop annoying you or interfering
    keep the flag flying
    jump to other results
    to represent your country or organization Our exporters keep the flag flying at international trade exhibitions.
    let fly (at somebody/something) (with something)
    jump to other results
    to attack someone by hitting them or speaking angrily to them He let fly at me with his fist. She let fly with a stream of abuse.
    time flies (saying)
    jump to other results
    time seems to pass very quickly How time flies! I have to go now. Time has flown since the vacation began. This phrase is a translation of the Latin “tempus fugit.”
    when pigs fly (ironic) (saying)
    jump to other results
    used to show that you do not believe something will ever happen “With any luck, we'll be finished tomorrow.” “Yeah, when pigs fly!”
    Phrasal Verbsfly at somebody
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: fly