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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb fly:


Fly is sometimes a misspelling of flight or flying.

The word fly is considered to be an easy one, according to the Dale-Chall word list, which includes 3000 words that all fourth-grade American students should know and understand.

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Definition of the noun fly

What does fly mean as a name of something?

noun - plural: flies

  1. two-winged insects characterized by active flight
    • lexical domain: Animals - nouns denoting animals
    • more generic terms: dipteran / dipteron / dipterous insect / two-winged insects = insects having usually a single pair of functional wings (anterior pair) with the posterior pair reduced to small knobbed structures and mouth parts adapted for sucking or lapping or piercing
    • more specific terms:
    • part: calypter / alula = scalelike structure between the base of the wing and the halter of a two-winged fly
    • member of: Diptera / order Diptera = a large order of insects having a single pair of wings and sucking or piercing mouths
    • young animal: maggot
    • collective noun: swarm / cloud
    • collateral adjective: dipterous
  2. flap consisting of a piece of canvas that can be drawn back to provide entrance to a tent
  3. an opening in a garment that is closed by a zipper or by buttons concealed under a fold of cloth
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • synonym of fly: fly front
    • more generic word: opening = a vacant or unobstructed space that is man-made
    • part of: garment = an article of clothing
  4. (baseball) a hit that flies up in the air
  5. fisherman's lure consisting of a fishhook decorated to look like an insect
    • lexical domain: Artifacts - nouns denoting man-made objects
    • more generic terms: fish lure / fisherman's lure = any bright artificial bait consisting of plastic or metal mounted with hooks and trimmed with feathers
    • more specific terms:
      • dry fly = a fly (fisherman's lure) that skims the surface of the water
      • streamer fly = an artificial fly that has wings extending back beyond the crook of the fishhook
      • wet fly = fisherman's fly that floats under the surface of the water

Alternative definition of the noun fly


  1. [context: zoology] Any insect of the order Diptera; characterized by having two wings, also called true flies.
  2. [context: non-technical] Especially, any of the insects of the family Muscidae, such as the common housefly (other families of Diptera include mosquitoes and midges).
  3. Any similar, but unrelated insect such as dragonfly or butterfly.
  4. [context: fishing] A lightweight fishing lure resembling an insect.
  5. [weightlifting] A chest exercise performed by moving extended arms from the sides to in front of the chest. (also flye)
  6. [obsolete] The action of flying; flight.
  7. An act of flying.
  8. [baseball] A fly ball.
  9. [historical] A type of small, fast carriage.
  10. A piece of canvas that covers the opening at the front of a tent.
  11. A strip of material hiding the zipper, buttons etc. at the front of a pair of trousers, pants, or underpants.
  12. The free edge of a flag.
  13. The horizontal length of a flag.

Specialised definition of the noun fly

Glossary of sports / swimming

short for butterfly (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)

  • example: the 100m fly

Definition of the adjective fly

What does fly mean as an attribute of a noun?

adjective - degrees: flier | fliest

  1. (British informal) not to be deceived or hoodwinked

Alternative definition of the adjective fly


  1. [slang] Quick-witted, alert, mentally sharp, smart (in a mental sense).
  2. [slang] Well dressed, smart in appearance.
  3. [slang] Beautiful; displaying physical beauty.

Definition of the verb fly

What does fly mean as a doing word?

Fly is one of the top 1000 most common verbs in the English language.

verb - inflections:

simple pastpast participlepresent participlethird-person singular

  1. travel through the air; be airborne
  2. move quickly or suddenly
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 1
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • more generic word: move = move so as to change position, perform a nontranslational motion
  3. operate an airplane
  4. transport by aeroplane
    • example: We fly flowers from the Caribbean to North America
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formulaVerbs with the same syntax
      [Agent - being or vehicle] [Verb] [Destination] [Theme]Amanda flew me the packageVerbs of Sending and Carrying: barge, bus, cart, ferry, shuttle, truck
      [Agent - being or vehicle] [Verb] [Theme]Amanda shoved the box | Amanda shuttled her children
      [Agent - being or vehicle] [Verb] [Theme] to / towards [Destination]Amanda carried the package to New York | Amanda drove the package to New York
      [Agent - being or vehicle] [Verb] [Theme] to [Destination]Amanda shuttled the children to school | Nora sent the book to London
      [Agent - being or vehicle] [Verb] [Theme] to [Destination] from / out / out of / off / off of [Source]Amanda trucked the package to her mother's house from Philadelphia
      [Agent - being or vehicle] [Verb] [Theme] from / out / out of / off / off of [Source]Amanda shoved the box from the corner | Amanda shuttled her children from Philadelphia | Nora sent the book from Paris
      [Agent - being or vehicle] [Verb] [Theme] from / out / out of / off / off of [Source] to / towards [Destination]Amanda carried the package from home to New York | Amanda drove the package from home to New York
      [Agent - being or vehicle] [Verb] [Theme] from / out / out of / off / off of [Source] to [Destination]Amanda trucked the package from Philadelphia to her mother's house | Nora sent the book from Paris to London
      [Agent - being] [Verb]They rowedVerbs of Motion: cruise, drive, navigate, oar, paddle, pedal, rally, ride, row, sail, tack, voyage
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Location]They rowed the canals of Venice
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Oblique] [Adjective]Penny rowed her palms raw
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Oblique 1] to / into [Oblique 2, state]Penny rowed her palms to shreds
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme]He drove Penny
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] [Adjective]Bill rolled the drawer open | He rode her seasick | He skated Penny exhausted | Tom walked the dog exhausted
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] to / into [Oblique, state]Bill rolled the drawer to an open position | He rode her to sickness | He skated Penny to exhaustion | Tom walked the dog to exhaustion
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] [Path Preposition] [Location]He rowed Penny across the lake
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Path Preposition] [Location]They rowed along the canal
    • lexical domain: Contact - verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging
    • more generic words: carry / transport = move while supporting, either in a vehicle or in one's hands or on one's body
    • more specific words: airlift / lift = fly people or goods to or from places not accessible by other means
  5. cause to fly or float
  6. be dispersed or disseminated
    • example: Rumors and accusations are flying
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • more generic words: go / locomote / move / travel = change location
  7. change quickly from one emotional state to another
    • example: fly into a rage
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • more generic word: change = undergo a change; become different in essence
  8. pass away rapidly
  9. travel in an airplane
    • examples: she is flying to Cincinnati tonight | Are we driving or flying?
    • syntax:
      Syntactic formulaExample for the syntactic formula
      [Agent - being] [Verb]They rowed
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Location]They rowed the canals of Venice
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Oblique] [Adjective]Penny rowed her palms raw
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Oblique 1] to / into [Oblique 2, state]Penny rowed her palms to shreds
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme]He drove Penny
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] [Adjective]Bill rolled the drawer open | He rode her seasick | He skated Penny exhausted | Tom walked the dog exhausted
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] to / into [Oblique, state]Bill rolled the drawer to an open position | He rode her to sickness | He skated Penny to exhaustion | Tom walked the dog to exhaustion
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Theme] [Path Preposition] [Location]He rowed Penny across the lake
      [Agent - being] [Verb] [Path Preposition] [Location]They rowed along the canal

      Verbs of Motion (with the same syntax): cruise, drive, navigate, oar, paddle, pedal, rally, ride, row, sail, tack, voyage.

    • domain: air / air travel / aviation
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • more generic word: travel = undergo transportation as in a vehicle
    • more specific word: red-eye = travel on an overnight flight
  10. display in the air or cause to float
  11. run away quickly
  12. travel over (an area of land or sea) in an aircraft
    • examples: Lindbergh was the first to fly the Atlantic | These men fly the river
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 9
    • lexical domain: Motions - verbs of walking, flying, swimming
    • more generic words: journey / travel = travel upon or across
  13. hit a fly
  14. decrease rapidly and disappear

Alternative definition of the verb fly


  1. [intransitive] To travel through the air, another gas, or a vacuum, without being in contact with a grounded surface.
  2. [intransitive] To flee, to escape.
  3. [transitive, ergative] To cause to fly [gloss, travel by air or the like]: to transport via air or the like.
  4. [intransitive] [colloquial, of a proposal, project or idea] To be accepted, come about or work out.
  5. [intransitive] To travel very fast.
  6. [intransitive, baseball] To hit a fly ball; to hit a fly ball which is caught for an out. Compare ground (verb) and line (verb).


  1. "Fly" a.k.a. "The Fly" is a 1986 American science fiction horror film directed and co-written by David Cronenberg. Produced by Brooksfilms and distributed by 20th Century Fox, the film stars Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis and John Getz. It is based loosely on George Langelaan's 1957 short story of the same name, which also formed the basis for the 1958 film. The score was composed by Howard Shore and the make-up effects were created by Chris Walas, who, along with makeup artist Stephan Dupuis won the Academy Award for Best Makeup.
  2. "Fly" a.k.a. "Teer Enta" is a 2009 comedy, fantasy and romance film written by Omar Taher, Ahmed Mekky and Ahmed El Guindi and directed by Ahmed El Guindi.
  3. "Fly" is a 1970 short film written and directed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
  4. "Fly" a.k.a. "Mouche" is a film, directed by David Uloth.
  5. "Fly" is a documentary film written and directed by Bulmaro Osornio.
  6. "Fly" is a 2011 animated short film directed by Alan Short.


"Fly" a.k.a. "Fly!" is a flight simulator for PC and Apple Macintosh computers developed by Terminal Reality and published by Gathering of Developers. It includes simulation of air traffic control features as well as aircraft's on-board systems, and was acclaimed for its highly detailed fully working interactive cockpits. Featured aircraft were exclusively fixed-wing light to medium aircraft. An enhanced version, Fly! 2K, and add-on, Wilco's 737 for Fly!, were released in 2000. A sequel, Fly! II, was released in 2001.

  • developer: Terminal Reality
  • genres: Flight simulator, Simulation video game
  • publisher: Gathering of Developers


  1. The Fly is a fictional comic book superhero published by Red Circle Comics. He was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby as part of Archie's "Archie Adventure Series" and later camped up as part of the company's Mighty Comics line. He first appeared in The Double Life of Private Strong #1, however his origin story and first "full length" appearance were in Adventures of the Fly #1.
  2. The Fly is a fictional character who first appeared in the DC Comics' Impact Comics series, The Fly. The character is loosely based on Archie Comics' character, The Fly.
  3. Fly is a fictional character from the Step Up film series.
  4. Fly is a fictional character from the 2000 film Help! I'm a Fish.

There are other characters with in their name, like Bar Fly, Big Fly, Fly Girl, Fruit Fly, Fruit-Fly, Human Fly, Fly Fisherman, fly-fisherman.


  1. "Fly" is a song by American rapper-songwriter Nicki Minaj from her debut studio album, Pink Friday. The song was released as the eighth and final single from the album on August 30, 2011. It features additional guest vocals by Barbadian recording artist Rihanna. The track was written by Kevin Hissink, Will Jordan, J.R. Rotem, Clemm Rishad and Minaj herself, while production was helped by Rotem and Hissink. The song is a R&B track which incorporates the hip hop genre. The song is inspired by the emotion of soaring above and overcoming all stereotypes and negativity, to come out victorious.
  2. "Fly" is the fifth studio album by American country band Dixie Chicks, released in 1999. The album was very successful for the group, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It has received diamond status by the RIAA on June 25, 2002 in the United States, for shipments of 10 million units. It has sold 8,396,000 copies in the United States as of October 2013.
  3. "Fly" is a song recorded by American singer Hilary Duff for her self-titled third studio album. The song was written by Kara DioGuardi and John Shanks, who also produced the song. It was released in the United States on August 10, 2004 by Hollywood Records, as the lead single from Hilary Duff. The single was released by Angel Records on March 13, 2006 in the United Kingdom as the fourth and final single from Duff's first compilation album, Most Wanted.
  4. "Fly" is the 11th studio album by internationally acclaimed Italian artist Zucchero, released on 22 September 2006. The album was recorded in 2006 at the Henson Recording Studios in Hollywood with producer Don Was, and previewed at the historic Ca' Vendramin Calergi in Venice, on 18 September 2006.
  5. "Fly" is the second album by Yoko Ono, produced by her and John Lennon, and released in 1971. It was a complete avant-garde/Fluxus package in a gatefold sleeve that came with a full-size poster and a postcard to order Ono's book Grapefruit. Notable songs include the singles "Midsummer New York" and "Mrs. Lennon", "Hirake" aka "Open Your Box" and "Don't Worry, Kyoko", dedicated to Ono's daughter Kyoko Cox. "Airmale" is the soundtrack to Lennon's film Erection, showing a building being erected in time lapsed photography, while "Fly" is the soundtrack to Ono's film Fly.
  6. "Fly" is a song by rock band Sugar Ray. It appears on their 1997 album Floored twice: one version with reggae artist Super Cat and the other without.
  7. "Fly" is the fourth album by classical crossover soprano Sarah Brightman. It is her second album with producer Frank Peterson and features collaborations with Tom Jones, Chris Thompson and Andrew Eldritch. Fly boasts a stronger pop and rock influence than Brightman's previous Broadway and operatic albums, and produced several hits in Europe including "A Question of Honour" and "Time to Say Goodbye".
  8. "Fly" is a single by Blind Guardian from their 2006 release, A Twist in the Myth. Two of the songs are from the album, "Fly" and "Skalds and Shadows", with the latter being an acoustic version only available on the single. The single also includes a cover of Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida", also available only on the single.
  9. "Fly" is the second EP released by rock band Sick Puppies. It was released in 2003 and features 6 tracks; including a remix by Josh Abrahams, an Enhanced CD featuring the making of the "Fly" music video and a rare version of the clip exclusive to the CD.
  10. "Fly" is a song by Brazilian recording artist Wanessa, featuring American rapper Ja Rule, taken from Wanessa's sixth studio album, Meu Momento. It was released as the lead single from the album on April 7, 2009. It was officially released in the English version, which caused some controversy.
  11. "Fly" is a composition.
  12. "Fly" is a song written and performed by Jars of Clay. It was the first mainstream single and second Christian radio single from their 2002 studio album, The Eleventh Hour. A live version of the song appears on disc two of the band's 2003 double album, Furthermore: From the Studio, From the Stage.
  13. "Fly" is a 1999 single studio album by SMAP.
    • released on (16 years ago)
  14. "Fly" is a 2004 single by Hilary Duff.
    • released on (11 years ago)


  1. Fly a.k.a. Richard Deacon, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was an American television and motion picture actor.
  2. Fly is a comic book artist and illustrator, whose art has been published in several magazines and fanzines, including Slug and Lettuce, Maximum Rock 'N' Roll, World War 3 Illustrated, Village Voice. She is also a former member of New York band God Is My Co-Pilot.

There are other people with in their name, like Fly Boy, Per Fly, Blow Fly, Mike fly, Becky Fly, Butta Fly, Playa Fly, Super Fly, Tenor Fly, Johnny Fly and many others.


  1. Fly is the cooperative jazz trio of saxophonist Mark Turner, drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier.
  2. Fly is a musical group.
    • album: "Ambient City Lounge"
  3. FLY is a musical group.
    • album: "Primeiro Voo"
  4. Fly is a musical group.
    • album: "Bombthreat: Before She Blows"

There are other groups with in their name, like May Fly, May-Fly, So' Fly, Fly Shit, Fly Paper, Fly Union, Human Fly, Lemon^Fly, Lucid Fly, Damsel Fly, Fly Agaric, Fly Pan Am, Lounge Fly, Fly Ashtray, Fly Project, Fly So High, One Day Fly, Spanish Fly, Time to Fly and Tse Tse Fly.


Fly a.k.a. Fly Records is a British independent record label, established in 1970 by the independent music publisher David Platz, and initially managed by Malcolm Jones from the offices of Essex Music in London.


Fly a.k.a. Fly, Tennessee: Fly is an unincorporated community in Maury County, Tennessee. It is along the Natchez Trace Parkway, south of Nashville. The small valley known as Fly Hollow is between Fly and the Natchez Trace.


  1. Fly: A fly or flye is a strength training exercise in which the hand and arm move through an arc while the elbow is kept at a constant angle. Flyes are used to work the muscles of the upper body. Because these exercises use the arms as levers at their longest possible length, the amount of weight that can be moved is significantly less than equivalent press exercises for the same muscles.
    • also known as 飛鳥
  2. Fly: A fly on clothing is a covering over an opening concealing the mechanism, such as a zip, velcro, or buttons, used to close the opening. The term is most frequently applied to a short opening over the groin in trousers, shorts, and other garments, which makes them easier to put on or take off, allows men and boys to urinate without lowering the garment, and prevents exhibitionism. The term is also used of overcoats, where a design of the same shape is used to hide a row of buttons. This style is common on a wide range of coats, from single-breasted Chesterfields to covert coats.
  3. The Fly Pentop Computer and FLY Fusion Pentop Computer are personal electronics products manufactured by LeapFrog Enterprises Inc. They are called a "pentop" computer by its manufacturers, because they consist of a pen with a computer inside. The company claims it is the first of its kind.
  4. Fly is a 2009 play written by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan about the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black fliers in the U.S. military during World War II.
  5. Fly: A fly refers to the outer layer of a tent or to a piece of material which is strung up using rope as a minimalist, stand-alone shelter. In basic terms, a fly is a tent without walls. Purpose-made stand-alone flies are also sometimes referred to as bivouacs, bivvies, tarpaulins, or hootchies. Flies are generally used for keeping moisture or sun off people while they eat, rest or sleep. They can also be used as groundsheets, but this is not recommended since it creates wear and tear which can lead to holes.
  6. Fly: A fly route, also called a "seam route", streak route or go route, is a pattern run by a receiver in American football, where the receiver runs straight upfield towards the endzone. The goal of the pattern is to outrun any defensive backs and get behind them, catching an undefended pass while running untouched for a touchdown. Generally, the fastest receiver on the team or any receiver faster than the man covering him would be the one to run these routes.
  7. Fly a.k.a. Tsotsitaal Language: Tsotsitaals are a variety of mixed languages mainly spoken in the townships of Gauteng province, such as Soweto, but also in other agglomerations all over South Africa. Tsotsi is a Sesotho slang word for a "thug" or "robber" and taal is the Afrikaans word for "language".
    • also known as Fly Taal, Flaai Taal, Tsotsitaal and Camtho
  8. Fly: A fly was a horse-drawn public coach or delivery wagon, especially one let out for hire. In Britain, the term also referred to a light covered vehicle, such as a single-horse pleasure carriage or a hansom cab.
  9. Fly is the only single from Nickelback's debut album Curb. A music video was shot for it, also a first for the band. The drums featured in the song were played by their original drummer, Brandon Kroeger. "Fly" was played on local radio stations, but wasn't very successful. The song did not chart.
  10. The Fly class is a singlehanded sailing dinghy designed by R. Fillery and later modified by K. Ford. It was intended to be built at home, and appears to have been developed as a youth trainer for the British Moth. The early boats were built from canvas, although that changed and later boats employed a plywood bottom.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Fly

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewThe Orvis Encyclopedia of Fly Fishing (2010)

Your Ultimate A to Z Guide to Being a Better Angler by Tom Rosenbauer

South fork spey SAILFISH Of the billfish species, sailfish are the smallest and most aggressive feeders on smaller baitfish, and are thus the easiest to hook with a fly. Although fly fishing pioneer Lee Wulff caught sailfish lying in shallow water ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Owa (2014)

A Language of the Solomon Islands by Greg Mellow

fly. Kaakaa kana kegafake akau rafa wau. That Solomon sea eagle flew very high. A raumarangari ke gafa rao kana. The long leafhopper flew past there. gaafa v. fly (present). Mwarao ne tonga ...

Google previewThe Lingo Dictionary (2009)

Of Favourite Australian Words and Phrases by John Miller

dead fly biscuit A...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Fly

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Photos about Fly

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Focus Stacking - Common Blue Bottle Fly, Bluebottle Fly, FliesSmall photo of fly fly flySmall photo of Hover Fly, Flower Flies, Syrphid Flies, Hoverflies, Diptera, SyrphidaeSmall photo of Hover Fly, Flower Flies, Syrphid Flies, Hoverflies, Diptera, SyrphidaeSmall photo of Glue fly Glue flySmall photo of fly fishing tackle, old reel, vintageSmall photo of Fly fisherman using flyfishing rod in beautiful river. More...

Videos about Fly

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View more videos about Fly By, fly off, Sac Fly, The fly, Fruit Fly, fly casting, Fly swatter, infield fly, ichneumon fly, Sacrifice fly, When Pigs Fly, and If Pigs Had Wings They Would Fly.

See also the pronunciation examples of Fly!

Sign language

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Quotes about Fly

Happy New Year

Sparkles in the sky,
fly, fly, fly,
new, new, new
old closeby
fly, fly, fly,
oh, sparkles in the sky.

Madrason 0400 uur 2010 (Madrason writer)
more quotes about fly...

Scrabble value of F4L1Y4

The value of this 3-letter word is 9 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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