1. To move in or pass thorugh the air with wings, as a bird.

2. To move through the air or before the wind; especially, to pass or be driven rapidly through the air by any impulse.

3. To float, wave, or rise in the air, as sparks or a flag. " Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward." (Job v. 7)

4. To move or pass swiftly; to hasten away; to circulate rapidly; as, a ship flies on the deep; a top flies around; rumor flies. "Fly, envious Time, till thou run out thy race." (Milton) "The dark waves murmured as the ships flew on." (Bryant)

5. To run from danger; to attempt to escape; to flee; as, an enemy or a coward flies. See Note under Flee. "Fly, ere evil intercept thy flight." (Milton) "Whither shall I fly to escape their hands ?" (Shak)

6. To move suddenly, or with violence; to do an act suddenly or swiftly; usually with a qualifying word; as, a door flies open; a bomb flies apart. To fly about To let go suddenly and entirely; as, to let fly the sheets.

Origin: OE. Fleen, fleen, fleyen, flegen, AS. Fleogan; akin to D. Vliegen, ONG. Fliogan, G. Fliegen, Icel. Fljga, Sw. Flyga, Dan. Flyve, Goth. Us-flaugjan to cause to fly away, blow about, and perh. To L. Pluma feather, E. Plume. 84. Cf. Fledge, Flight, Flock of animals.

Origin: OE. Flie, flege, AS. Fl?ge, fleoge, fr. Fleogan to fly; akin to D. Vlieg, OHG. Flioga, G. Fliege, Icel. & Sw. Fluga, Dan. Flue. 84. See Fly.

1. <entomology> Any winged insect; especially, one with transparent wings; as, the Spanish fly; firefly; gall fly; dragon fly. Any dipterous insect; as, the house fly; flesh fly; black fly. See Diptera, and Illust. In Append.

2. A hook dressed in imitation of a fly, used for fishing. "The fur-wrought fly."

3. A familiar spirit; a witch's attendant. "A trifling fly, none of your great familiars." (B. Jonson)

4. A parasite.

5. A kind of light carriage for rapid transit, plying for hire and usually drawn by one horse.

6. The length of an extended flag from its staff; sometimes, the length from the "union" to the extreme end.

7. The part of a vane pointing the direction from which the wind blows.

8. That part of a compass on which the points are marked; the compass card.

9. <mechanics> Two or more vanes set on a revolving axis, to act as a fanner, or to equalize or impede the motion of machinery by the resistance of the air, as in the striking part of a clock. A heavy wheel, or cross arms with weights at the ends on a revolving axis, to regulate or equalize the motion of machinery by means of its inertia, where the power communicated, or the resistance to be overcome, is variable, as in the steam engine or the coining press. See Fly wheel (below).

10. <machinery> The piece hinged to the needle, which holds the engaged loop in position while the needle is penetrating another loop; a latch.

11. The pair of arms revolving around the bobbin, in a spinning wheel or spinning frame, to twist the yarn.

12. A shuttle driven through the shed by a blow or jerk.

13. Formerly, the person who took the printed sheets from the press. A vibrating frame with fingers, attached to a power to a power printing press for doing the same work.

14. The outer canvas of a tent with double top, usually drawn over the ridgepole, but so extended as to touch the roof of the tent at no other place.

15. One of the upper screens of a stage in a theater.

16. The fore flap of a bootee; also, a lap on trousers, overcoats, etc, to conceal a row of buttons.

17. A batted ball that flies to a considerable distance, usually high in the air; also, the flight of a ball so struck; as, it was caught on the fly. Black fly, Cheese fly, Dragon fly, etc. See Black, Cheese, etc.

<botany> Fly agaric, still in the air; said of a batted ball caught before touching the ground.

(01 Mar 1998)

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