A fly (insect)



  • Any insect of the order Diptera; characterized by having two wings (except for some wingless species), also called true fly.
  • Especially, any of the insects of the family Muscidae, such as the common housefly (other families of Diptera include mosquitoes and midges).
  • Any similar, but unrelated insect such as dragonfly or butterfly.
  • A lightweight fishing lure resembling an insect.
  • A chest exercise performed by moving extended arms from the sides to in front of the chest. (also flye)
  • A witch's familiar.
  • A parasite.
  • The butterfly stroke (plural is normally flys)
  • A simple dance in which the hands are shaken in the air, popular in the 1960s.
  • The action of flying; flight.
  • An act of flying.
  • A fly ball.
  • A type of small, fast carriage (sometimes pluralised flys).
  • A piece of canvas that covers the opening at the front of a tent.
  • A strip of material (sometimes hiding zippers or buttons) at the front of a pair of trousers, pants, underpants, bootees, etc.
  • The free edge of a flag.
  • The horizontal length of a flag.
  • An exercise that involves wide opening and closing of the arms perpendicular to the shoulders.
  • The part of a vane pointing the direction from which the wind blows.
  • That part of a compass on which the points are marked; the compass card.
  • 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 light horse-drawn carriage that can be hired for transportation.
  • In a knitting machine, the piece hinged to the needle, which holds the engaged loop in position while the needle is penetrating another loop; a latch..
  • The pair of arms revolving around the bobbin, in a spinning wheel or spinning frame, to twist the yarn.
  • A shuttle driven through the shed by a blow or jerk.
  • The person who took the printed sheets from the press.
  • A vibrating frame with fingers, attached to a power printing press for doing the same work.
  • One of the upper screens of a stage in a theatre.
  • waste cotton
  • A wing.


  • To travel through the air, another gas or a vacuum, without being in contact with a grounded surface.
  • To flee, to escape (from).
  • To cause to fly : to transport via air or the like.
  • To travel or proceed very fast; to hasten.
  • To move suddenly, or with violence; to do an act suddenly or swiftly.
  • To proceed with great success.
  • To be accepted, come about or work out.
  • To display (a flag) on a flagpole.
  • To hunt with a hawk.
  • To hit a fly ball; to hit a fly ball that is caught for an out. Compare ground (verb) and line (verb).



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Narrower meaning words


  • From Middle English flye, flie, from Old English flȳġe, flēoge, from Proto-Germanic *fleugǭ ("a fly"), from Proto-Indo-European *plewk- ("to fly"). Cognate with Scots flee, Saterland Frisian Fljooge, Dutch vlieg, German Low German Fleeg, German Fliege, Danish flue, Norwegian Bokmål flue, Norwegian Nynorsk fluge, Swedish fluga, Icelandic fluga.
  • From Middle English flien, from Old English flēogan, from Proto-Germanic *fleuganą (compare Saterland Frisian fljooge, Dutch vliegen, Low German flegen, German fliegen, Danish flyve, Norwegian Nynorsk flyga), from Proto-Indo-European *plewk- ("to fly") (compare Lithuanian plaukti ‘to swim’), enlargement of *plew-. More at flee and flow.
  • Origin uncertain; probably from the verb or noun.
  • Related to German Flügel ("a wing"), Dutch vleugel ("a wing"), Swedish flygel ("a wing").

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