flyable, adj.flyability, n.
/fluy/, v., flew or, for 11, 19, flied, flown, flying, n., pl. flies.
1. to move through the air using wings.
2. to be carried through the air by the wind or any other force or agency: bits of paper flying about.
3. to float or flutter in the air: flags flying in the breeze.
4. to travel in an aircraft or spacecraft.
5. to move suddenly and quickly; start unexpectedly: He flew from the room.
6. to change rapidly and unexpectedly from one state or position to another: The door flew open.
7. to flee; escape.
8. to travel in space: The probe will fly past the planet.
9. to move or pass swiftly: How time flies!
10. to move with an aggressive surge: A mother fox will fly at anyone approaching her kits.
11. Baseball.
a. to bat a fly ball: He flied into right field.
b. to fly out.
12. Informal. to be acceptable, believable, or feasible: It seemed like a good idea, but it just wouldn't fly.
13. to make (something) float or move through the air: to fly a kite.
14. to operate (an aircraft, spacecraft, or the like).
15. to hoist aloft, as for display, signaling, etc.: to fly a flag.
16. to operate an aircraft or spacecraft over: to fly the Pacific.
17. to transport or convey by air: We fly merchandise to Boston.
18. to escape from; flee: to fly someone's wrath.
19. Theat.
a. to hang (scenery) above a stage by means of rigging supported by the gridiron.
b. to raise (scenery) from the stage or acting area into the flies.
20. fly blind. See blind (def. 33).
21. fly in the face of, to act in defiance of (authority, custom, etc.). Also, fly in the teeth of.
22. fly off the handle. See handle (def. 8).
23. fly out, Baseball, Softball. to be put out by hitting a fly ball that is caught by a player of the opposing team.
24. go fly a kite, Slang.
a. to put up with or get used to matters as they stand.
b. to confine oneself to one's own affairs.
c. to cease being a nuisance: If she gets mad enough she'll tell me to go fly a kite.
25. let fly,
a. to hurl or propel (a weapon, missile, etc.).
b. to give free rein to an emotion: She let fly with a barrage of angry words.
26. a strip of material sewn along one edge of a garment opening for concealing buttons, zippers, or other fasteners.
27. a flap forming the door of a tent.
28. Also called tent fly. a piece of canvas extending over the ridgepole of a tent and forming an outer roof.
29. an act of flying; a flight.
30. the course of a flying object, as a ball.
31. Baseball. See fly ball.
32. Brit. a light, covered, public carriage drawn by one horse; hansom; hackney coach.
33. Mach. 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.
34. Also called fan. Horol. a regulating device for chime and striking mechanisms, consisting of an arrangement of vanes on a revolving axis.
35. Print.
a. (in some presses) the apparatus for removing the printed sheets to the delivery table.
b. Also called flyboy. (formerly) a printer's devil employed to remove printed sheets from a press.
36. (on a flag)
a. the horizontal dimension of a flag as flown from a vertical staff.
b. the end of the flag farther from the staff. Cf. hoist (def. 8).
37. flies. Also called fly loft. Theat. the space above the stage used chiefly for storing scenery and equipment.
38. Naut. a propellerlike device streamed to rotate and transfer information on speed to a mechanical log.
39. on the fly,
a. during flight; before falling to the ground: to catch a baseball on the fly.
b. hurriedly; without pausing: We had dinner on the fly.
[bef. 900; ME flien, OE fleogan; c. OHG fliogan, G fliegen, ON fljuga]
Syn. 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.
flyless, adj.
/fluy/, n., pl. flies.
1. Also called true fly. any of numerous two-winged insects of the order Diptera, esp. of the family Muscidae, as the common housefly.
2. any of various winged insects, as the mayfly or firefly.
3. Angling. a fishhook dressed with hair, feathers, silk, tinsel, etc., so as to resemble an insect or small fish, for use as a lure or bait.
4. (cap.) Astron. the constellation Musca.
5. fly in the ointment, a detrimental factor; detraction: If there's one fly in the ointment, it's that there may not be the money to finish the job.
[bef. 950; ME flie, OE fleoge, flyge; c. MD vliege (D vlieg), OHG flioga (G Fliege); akin to FLY1]
/fluy/, adj. Brit. Informal.
1. clever; keen; ingenious.
2. agile; nimble.
[1805-15; perh. special use of FLY1]

* * *

In general, almost any small flying insect.

In entomology, the term refers specifically to the approximately 85,000 species of two-winged, or "true," flies (dipterans). Other insects called flies have wing structures that differ from that of dipterans.
(as used in expressions)
Med fly
assassin fly
Monty Python's Flying Circus
flying bomb

* * *

      any of several thousand species of insects characterized by the use of only one pair of wings for flight and the reduction of the second pair of wings to knobs (called halteres) used for balance. The term fly is commonly used for almost any small flying insect. However, in entomology the name refers specifically to the approximately 120,000 species of dipterans, or “true” flies, which are distributed throughout the world, including the subarctic and high mountains.

 Dipterans are known by such common names as gnats, midges, mosquitoes, and leaf miners, in addition to numerous sorts of flies, including the horse fly, housefly, blow fly, and fruit, bee, robber, and crane flies. Many other species of insects are called flies (e.g., dragonflies, caddisflies, and mayflies), but their wing structures serve to distinguish them from true flies. Many species of dipterans are of great importance economically, and some, such as the common housefly and certain mosquitoes, are of importance as disease carriers. See dipteran.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

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