1 verb past tense flew past participle flown PLANE
1 (I) to travel by plane: You can fly direct from London to Tokyo in under 12 hours now. | fly on (=continue flying to another place): The first stop is San Francisco, and from there we're flying on to Hawaii.
2 (I) to move through the air in order to go from one place to another: These planes can fly at incredibly high speeds.
3 (T) to carry or send goods or people by plane : fly sth into/out of: US planes have been flying food and medical supplies into the area.
4 (I, T) to use a particular airline or use a particular type of ticket when flying: We usually fly economy class.
5 (I, T) to control a plane through the air: The Prince has his own private jet which he flies himself.
6 fly a mission to fly a plane in a war, especially in order to attack an enemy
7 (T) to cross an area of water in a plane: the first woman to fly the Atlantic
8 (I) to move through the air using wings
(+ up/into etc): a flock of seagulls flying overhead FLOAT HIGH IN THE AIR
9 (intransitive always + adv/prep) to float high in the air: I watched the balloons fly up into the sky.
10 (I) if your hair, coat etc is flying, it moves freely and loosely in the air: long hair flying in the wind
11 (intransitive always + adv/prep) to go somewhere very quickly
(+ down/across/out of etc): She flew down the stairs to find out what had happened.
12 (intransitive always + adv/prep) to move suddenly and very quickly
(+ open/shut/back etc): The door suddenly flew open. | Sparks were flying everywhere.
13 send sb/sth flying to knock someone or something so that they fall through the air: He crashed into the table and sent the glasses flying.
14 go flying to suddenly fall through the air after being knocked by something or someone: The boat rocked to the side and I went flying across the room.
15 I must fly spoken used to say that you must leave quickly
16 time flies spoken used to say that a period of time passes or something happens in an unexpectedly short time: Is it August already? How time flies! | Time flies when you are having fun! (=often used humorously to mean that something has been very boring)
17 fly by/past if a period of time flies by or past, it passes very quickly without you noticing: We've been so busy, the week has just flown by.
18 fly into a temper/rage to suddenly become extremely angry: My father flew into a rage and demanded his money back.
19 fly off the handle informal to become very angry suddenly and unexpectedly about something that does not seem very important: There's no need to fly off the handle like that.
20 let fly to suddenly start shouting at someone because you feel very angry about something
(+ at): The woman let fly a torrent of abuse at him.
21 go fly a kite spoken used to say that you think that someone is being very annoying
22 let fly to suddenly attack someone
(+ with): The soldiers let fly with a hail of machine-gun fire. OTHER MEANINGS
23 ESCAPE (T) to leave somewhere in order to escape: They were forced to fly the country in 1939.
24 fly the coop informal especially AmE to leave or escape: All my children have flown the coop now.
25 fly by the seat of your pants informal to do something by guessing how to do it because you have very little knowledge or experience
26 FLAG (I, T) if a flag flies, or if you fly it, it is fixed to a pole or a building, ship etc: a ship flying the Dutch flag
27 fly the flag to behave in a way that shows that you are proud of your country, organization etc
28 fly in the face of to be the opposite of what most people think is reasonable, sensible, or normal: Eysenck's claim flies in the face of all the evidence.
29 rumours/accusations etc are flying if rumours, accusations etc are flying about something, a lot of people are saying things about it: Rumours were flying round the capital about a possible military takeover.
30 PLAN AmE (I) a plan that will fly is good or useful
—see also: the bird has flown bird (7), as the crow flies crow 1 (3), sparks fly spark 1 (6) fly at sb also fly into sb AmE phrasal verb (T) to suddenly rush towards someone because you are very angry with them: The old man flew at her in rage. 2 verb past tense and past participle flied (I) AmE to hit a ball in baseball high into the air, especially so that the ball is caught by the other team 3 noun (C)
1 INSECT a small flying insect with two wings: The flies kept buzzing around us.
2 TROUSERS also lfies BrE the part at the front of a pair of trousers which you can open and which consists of a zip 1 (1) or a row of buttons: He did up his fly.
3 sb wouldn't hurt a fly/sb wouldn't harm a fly spoken used to say that someone is very gentle and is not likely to hurt anyone
4 be going down like flies/be dropping like flies informal used to say that a lot of people are becoming ill with a particular disease
5 fly in the ointment informal the only thing that spoils something and prevents it from being successful
6 be a fly on the wall to be able to watch what happens without other people knowing that you are there: I wish I'd been a fly on the wall during that conversation.
—see also: fly­on­the­wall
7 there are no flies on sb BrE spoken used to say that someone is not stupid and cannot be tricked
8 FISHING a hook that is made to look like a fly, used for catching fish
9 BASEBALL a flyball
4 adjective old-fashioned especially BrE clever and not easily tricked: He's a fly old bird.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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