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Fly vs. Soar: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Flying refers to the act of moving through air, typically with wings, while soaring is a type of flying that involves gliding in a smooth, effortless manner, often at high altitudes.
Fly vs. Soar

Key Differences

Fly generally refers to the act of moving through air using wings or similar structures, often involving flapping or propulsion. Soar, on the other hand, implies a graceful, effortless motion, typically at higher altitudes, with minimal wing movement.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
When creatures or machines fly, they engage in powered motion, actively pushing against the air. In contrast, to soar often means to utilize air currents and thermals, relying less on active propulsion and more on gliding.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
The term fly can apply to various modes of air travel, including insects buzzing or birds flapping their wings. Soar, however, usually describes a specific type of flight, characterized by long, sweeping motions and sustained altitude.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023
Fly is a broader term, encompassing all forms of aerial movement, while soar is more specific, often associated with elegance and majesty in flight.
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Dec 07, 2023
In a metaphorical sense, fly can mean to move quickly or to flee, whereas soar can symbolize rising to great heights, often in a figurative or emotional context.
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Dec 07, 2023
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Fly and Soar Definitions

Fly

To move through the air by means of wings or winglike parts.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

Glide high
The eagle soared above the mountains.
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Nov 25, 2023

Fly

To travel by air
We flew to Dallas.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

Increase rapidly
The stock prices soared overnight.
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Nov 25, 2023

Fly

To operate an aircraft or spacecraft.
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Soar

Rise dramatically
Her spirits soared when she heard the good news.
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Nov 25, 2023

Fly

To rise in or be carried through the air by the wind
A kite flying above the playground.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

Reach great heights
His imagination soared while reading the novel.
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Nov 25, 2023

Fly

To float or flap in the air
Pennants flying from the masthead.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

To rise or fly into the air
The startled hawk soared away.
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Oct 19, 2023
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Fly

To move or be sent through the air with great speed
Bullets flying in every direction.
A plate that flew from my hands when I stumbled.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

To maintain altitude without moving the wings or using an engine; glide.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To move with great speed; rush or dart
The children flew down the hall.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

To increase or improve suddenly above the normal or usual level
Sales soared. Our spirits soared.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To be communicated to many people
Rumors are flying about their breakup.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

The act of soaring.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To flee; escape.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

The altitude or scope attained in soaring.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To hasten; spring
Flew to her students' defense.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

(intransitive) To fly high with little effort, like a bird.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To pass by swiftly
A vacation flying by.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

To mount upward on wings, or as on wings, especially by gliding while employing rising air currents.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To be dissipated; vanish
All his money has flown.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

To remain aloft by means of a glider or other unpowered aircraft.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Past tense and past participle flied (flīd) Baseball To hit a fly ball.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

To rise, especially rapidly or unusually high.
The pump prices soared into new heights as the strike continued.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To shatter or explode
The dropped plate flew into pieces.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

(figuratively) To rise in thought, spirits, or imagination; to be exalted in mood.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To become suddenly emotional, especially angry
The driver flew into a rage.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

The act of soaring.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(Informal) To gain acceptance or approval; go over
"However sophisticated the reasoning, this particular notion may not fly" (New York Times).
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

An upward flight.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To cause to fly or float in the air
Fly a kite.
Fly a flag.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

To fly aloft, as a bird; to mount upward on wings, or as on wings.
When soars Gaul's vulture with his wings unfurled.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(Nautical) To operate under (a particular flag)
A tanker that flies the Liberian flag.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

Fig.: To rise in thought, spirits, or imagination; to be exalted in mood.
Where the deep transported mind may soar.
Valor soars aboveWhat the world calls misfortune.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To pilot (an aircraft or spacecraft).
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

To fly by wind power; to glide indefinitely without loss of altitude.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To carry or transport in an aircraft or spacecraft
Fly emergency supplies to a stricken area.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Soar

The act of soaring; upward flight.
This apparent soar of the hooded falcon.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To pass over or through in flight
Flew the coastal route in record time.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

See 3d Sore.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To perform in a spacecraft or aircraft
Flew six missions into space.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

See Sore, reddish brown.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To flee or run from
Fly a place in panic.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

The act of rising upward into the air
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To avoid; shun
Fly temptation.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

Rise rapidly;
The dollar soared against the yes
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The act of flying; flight.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Soar

Fly by means of a hang glider
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The opening, or the fastening that closes this opening, on the front of a pair of pants.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Soar

Fly upwards or high in the sky
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The flap of cloth that covers this opening.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

Go or move upward;
The stock market soared after the cease-fire was announced
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

A piece of protective fabric secured over a tent and often extended over the entrance.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Soar

Fly a plane without an engine
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

A flyleaf.
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Oct 19, 2023

Soar

Fly without flapping wings
The glider soared through the sky.
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Nov 25, 2023

Fly

(Baseball) A fly ball.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(Sports) In swimming, butterfly.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The span of a flag from the staff to the outer edge.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The outer edge of a flag.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

A flywheel.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Flies The area directly over the stage of a theater, containing overhead lights, drop curtains, and equipment for raising and lowering sets.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Chiefly British A one-horse carriage, especially one for hire.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Any of numerous two-winged insects of the order Diptera, especially any of the family Muscidae, which includes the housefly.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Any of various other flying insects, such as a caddisfly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

A fishing lure simulating something a fish eats, such as a mayfly or a minnow, made by attaching materials such as feathers, tinsel, and colored thread to a fishhook.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Chiefly British Mentally alert; sharp.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(Slang) Fashionable; stylish.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(zoology) Any insect of the order Diptera; characterized by having two wings (except for some wingless species), also called true flies.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(non-technical) Especially, any of the insects of the family Muscidae, such as the common housefly (other families of Diptera include mosquitoes and midges).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Any similar, but not closely related insect, such as a dragonfly or butterfly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(fishing) A lightweight fishing lure resembling an insect.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(weightlifting) A chest exercise performed by moving extended arms from the sides to in front of the chest. (also flye)
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(swimming) The butterfly stroke (plural is normally flys).
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(obsolete) A witch's familiar.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(obsolete) A parasite.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(preceded by definite article) A simple dance in which the hands are shaken in the air, popular in the 1960s.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(finance) A butterfly (combination of four options).
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(obsolete) The action of flying; flight.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

An act of flying.
There was a good wind, so I decided to give the kite a fly.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(baseball) A fly ball.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(American football) fly route
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

A piece of canvas that covers the opening at the front of a tent.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The sloping or roof part of the canvas of a tent.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(often plural) A strip of material (sometimes hiding zippers or buttons) at the front of a pair of trousers, pants, underpants, bootees, etc.
Ha-ha! Your flies are undone!
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The free edge of a flag.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The horizontal length of a flag.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(weightlifting) An exercise that involves wide opening and closing of the arms perpendicular to the shoulders.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The part of a vane pointing the direction from which the wind blows.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(nautical) That part of a compass on which the points are marked; the compass card.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

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.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(historical) A type of small, light, fast horse-drawn carriage that can be hired for transportation (sometimes pluralised flys).
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

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..
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The pair of arms revolving around the bobbin, in a spinning wheel or spinning frame, to twist the yarn.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(weaving) A shuttle driven through the shed by a blow or jerk.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The person who took the printed sheets from the press.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

A vibrating frame with fingers, attached to a power printing press for doing the same work.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

One of the upper screens of a stage in a theatre.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(cotton manufacture) waste cotton
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

A wing.
The bullet barely grazed the wild fowl's fly.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(intransitive) To travel through the air, another gas, or a vacuum, without being in contact with a grounded surface.
Birds of passage fly to warmer regions as it gets colder in winter.
The Concorde flew from Paris to New York faster than any other passenger airplane.
It takes about eleven hours to fly from Frankfurt to Hong Kong.
The little fairy flew home on the back of her friend, the giant eagle.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To flee, to escape (from).
Fly, my lord! The enemy are upon us!
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To cause to fly travel or float in the air: to transport via air or the like.
Charles Lindbergh flew his airplane The Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic ocean.
Why don’t you go outside and fly kites, kids? The wind is just perfect.
Birds fly their prey to their nest to feed it to their young.
Each day the postal service flies thousands of letters around the globe.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(intransitive) To travel or proceed very fast; to hasten.
He flew down the hill on his bicycle.
It's five o'clock already. Doesn't time fly?
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(intransitive) To move suddenly, or with violence; to do an act suddenly or swiftly.
A door flies open
A bomb flies apart
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(intransitive) To proceed with great success.
His career is really flying at the moment.
One moment the company was flying high, the next it was on its knees.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To be accepted, come about or work out.
Let's see if that idea flies.
You know, I just don't think that's going to fly. Why don't you spend your time on something better?
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To display (a flag) on a flagpole.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(transitive) To hunt with a hawk.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To be in the winged adult stage.
This species flies from late summer until frost.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To hit a fly ball; to hit a fly ball that is caught for an out. Compare ground (verb) and line (verb).
Jones flied to right in his last at-bat.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Quick-witted, alert, mentally sharp.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(slang) Well dressed, smart in appearance; in style, cool.
He's pretty fly.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(slang) Beautiful; displaying physical beauty.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To move in or pass through the air with wings, as a bird.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To move through the air or before the wind; esp., to pass or be driven rapidly through the air by any impulse.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To float, wave, or rise in the air, as sparks or a flag.
Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

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.
The dark waves murmured as the ships flew on.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

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.
Whither shall I fly to escape their hands ?
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

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.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To cause to fly or to float in the air, as a bird, a kite, a flag, etc.
The brave black flag I fly.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To fly or flee from; to shun; to avoid.
Sleep flies the wretch.
To fly the favors of so good a king.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To hunt with a hawk.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

To manage (an aircraft) in flight; as, to fly an aëroplane.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Any winged insect; esp., one with transparent wings; as, the Spanish fly; firefly; gall fly; dragon fly.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

A hook dressed in imitation of a fly, - used for fishing.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

A familiar spirit; a witch's attendant.
A trifling fly, none of your great familiars.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

A parasite.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

A kind of light carriage for rapid transit, plying for hire and usually drawn by one horse.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The length of an extended flag from its staff; sometimes, the length from the "union" to the extreme end.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The part of a vane pointing the direction from which the wind blows.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

That part of a compass on which the points are marked; the compass card.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

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.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The piece hinged to the needle, which holds the engaged loop in position while the needle is penetrating another loop; a latch.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The pair of arms revolving around the bobbin, in a spinning wheel or spinning frame, to twist the yarn.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

A shuttle driven through the shed by a blow or jerk.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Formerly, the person who took the printed sheets from the press.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

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.
Shumaila Saeed
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

One of the upper screens of a stage in a theater.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

The fore flap of a bootee; also, a lap on trousers, overcoats, etc., to conceal a row of buttons.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

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. Also called fly ball.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Waste cotton.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Knowing; wide awake; fully understanding another's meaning.
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Two-winged insects characterized by active flight
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Flap consisting of a piece of canvas that can be drawn back to provide entrance to a tent
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

An opening in a garment that is closed by a zipper or buttons concealed by a fold of cloth
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(baseball) a hit that flies up in the air
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Fisherman's lure consisting of a fishhook decorated to look like an insect
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Travel through the air; be airborne;
Man cannot fly
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Move quickly or suddenly;
He flew about the place
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Fly a plane
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Transport by aeroplane;
We fly flowers from the Caribbean to North America
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Cause to fly or float;
Fly a kite
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Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Be dispersed or disseminated;
Rumors and accusations are flying
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Change quickly from one emotional state to another;
Fly into a rage
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Pass away rapidly;
Time flies like an arrow
Time fleeing beneath him
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Travel in an airplane;
She is flying to Cincinnati tonight
Are we driving or flying?
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Display in the air or cause to float;
Fly a kite
All nations fly their flags in front of the U.N.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Run away quickly;
He threw down his gun and fled
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Travel over (an area of land or sea) in an aircraft;
Lindbergh was the first to fly the Atlantic
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Hit a fly
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

Decrease rapidly and disappear;
The money vanished in las Vegas
All my stock assets have vaporized
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Fly

(British informal) not to be deceived or hoodwinked
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can the word 'fly' be used metaphorically?

Yes, 'fly' can be used metaphorically to mean moving quickly or achieving something rapidly.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Do airplanes soar?

Airplanes fly using engines, but gliders can soar by using air currents.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can insects soar?

Generally, insects fly, not soar, as soaring requires large wings and specific conditions.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Do pilots learn to fly or soar?

Pilots learn to fly aircraft, which involves powered flight rather than soaring.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can all birds fly and soar?

Most birds can fly, but not all can soar, as soaring requires specific physical adaptations.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Is soaring associated with positive feelings?

Yes, soaring often has a positive connotation, like achieving great heights.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Is flying faster than soaring?

Flying can be faster than soaring, as soaring is more about gliding and efficiency than speed.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Is soaring always literal?

No, soaring can also be used metaphorically, such as "soaring ambitions."
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

What's the main difference in energy use between fly and soar?

Flying often requires more energy for propulsion, while soaring is more energy-efficient.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can 'fly' refer to escaping?

Yes, 'fly' can colloquially mean to escape or flee.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Do all flying animals use wings?

Yes, wings are essential for flying, but the design varies among species.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Is 'fly' used in technology?

Yes, 'fly' can describe drones and other flying technology.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Does soaring require specific weather conditions?

Yes, soaring often relies on thermals and air currents, which are weather-dependent.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can 'fly' mean to operate an aircraft?

Yes, 'fly' can mean to pilot or operate an aircraft.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can humans soar without equipment?

No, humans cannot naturally soar and require equipment like gliders.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Is soaring a common theme in literature?

Yes, soaring is often used in literature to symbolize freedom and aspiration.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Do birds fly or soar more efficiently?

Soaring is generally more energy-efficient for birds than active flying.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Are there sports that involve flying or soaring?

Yes, sports like paragliding involve soaring, while skydiving involves flying.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Is soaring exclusive to birds?

No, some aircraft and sports like hang gliding also involve soaring.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

Can 'fly' be used in gaming?

Yes, in gaming, 'fly' can refer to moving through virtual space.
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Shumaila Saeed
Dec 07, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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