Definition of flight in English:

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Pronunciation: /flʌɪt/


1 [mass noun] The action or process of flying through the air: an eagle in flight the history of space flight
More example sentences
  • We were being processed for flight by a talking orange.
  • But in every generation, it seems, they try, remembering not the fall, but the heady lift of flight, the eagle soaring by.
  • I crouched, sniffing and listening, every muscle poised for flight.
flying, soaring, gliding
aviation, flying, air transport, aerial navigation, aeronautics
1.1 [count noun] An act of flying; a journey made through the air or in space, especially a timetabled journey made by an airline: a return flight from Gatwick to Berlin
More example sentences
  • Those travelling on scheduled flights should contact their airline.
  • Rutan said the spacecraft would be safer than early commercial airline travel, and flights would not be limited to the young and superfit.
  • The deals include return flights with Continental Airlines from Gatwick and a stay at the famous Golden Nugget hotel.
plane trip, trip by air, air trip, journey by air, air journey
1.2The movement or trajectory of a projectile or ball through the air: the golfer’s swing is obviously critical to the ball’s flight
More example sentences
  • The skip pass completed, every defensive player moved with player movement and flight of the ball as dictated by the rules.
  • This basically means that there are no unnecessary moving parts in Tiger's swing, which has allowed him to control the trajectory of his ball flight better.
  • The releasing or rolling of the club head through impact ensures greater power and the ability to control the ball flight.
trajectory, track, flight path, orbit, glide path, approach
1.3 [as modifier] Relating to or denoting archery in which the main concern is shooting long distances: short, light flight arrows
More example sentences
  • Turkish flight arrows often had horn tips, thus reducing weight as much as possible.
  • Flight archery is all about shooting an arrow the longest distance, so the range for a flight event will need to be very long.
  • The bows were highly efficient and the record shot with a light Turkish flight bow was close to 900 yards, far beyond the capability of a self bow.
2A flock or large body of birds or insects in the air, especially when migrating: flights of whooper swans
More example sentences
  • This is a region dotted with Chotts, lakes and salt marshes that expand and subtract with the seasons, attracting vast flights of birds as well as herds.
  • A flight of birds flew up through the sky, frightened of whoever was there.
  • Some of these dances represented the caribou hunt; others might portray a flight of birds or a battle with the weather.
flock, flying group;
skein, bevy, covey;
swarm, cloud, knot, cluster
2.1A group of aircraft operating together, especially an RAF or USAF unit of about six aircraft: he dispatched the Hurricanes in three flights
More example sentences
  • Though each side had fewer aircraft and smaller flights, the combat was just as deadly.
  • Fortunately the second aircraft in the flight missed the wires completely, possibly by flying under them.
  • Whenever the weather cooperated, FAS sent flights of aircraft to hit the British task force.
3 [mass noun] The action of fleeing: the enemy were now in flight [in singular]: a headlong flight from reality
More example sentences
  • Among the wildlife in headlong flight is a scorpion.
  • The twenty-eight year old poet was theoretically en route from Milan; in reality he was in flight from an England which was still agog at rumours of his lunatic behaviour.
  • True historical breakthroughs, in which the defender is shocked into inaction or headlong flight, are almost impossible to achieve.
escape, getaway, fleeing, running away, absconding, retreat, departure, hasty departure, exit, exodus, decamping, disappearance, vanishing
3.1The selling of currency or shares by many investors: an anti-inflationary move aimed at stemming the flight of capital
More example sentences
  • No investor flight has happened yet, but hot money can leave the region as fast as it roars in.
  • They signal capital flight by Western investors, I have not yet noticed, but then, I cannot keep an eye on everything.
  • Here the response to currency devaluation and capital flight would be to impose further cuts on social policies and further constraints on the poor.
3.2 literary The swift passage of time: the never-ending flight of future days
More example sentences
  • It bears the connotation of the passing or the flight of time - time which can never be recaptured.
  • Her timid reminders concerning the flight of time and consequent fines for lateness at work fell on deaf ears.
4A series of steps between floors or levels: I climbed the three flights of stairs which led to his office
More example sentences
  • They made their way up to the fourth floor via a creaky flight of steps.
  • She walked around the ground level looking for the flight of stairs that led to the second floor.
  • Muketsu, the first in Chizome's line, climbed the short flight of stairs and stepped to the front of the altar.
staircase, set of steps/stairs
4.1A series of hurdles across a racetrack.
Example sentences
  • Istabraq was pulled up after just two flights of hurdles and second favourite Valiramix, partnered by Tony McCoy, had to be put down after suffering a serious leg injury.
  • Conditions were so bad at the Berkshire course that the last flight of hurdles was moved 100 yards forward and the last race of the day had to be abandoned because of poor visibility.
  • It was clear that Rayshan was on a steep learning curve, and in the back straight he fiddled the sixth flight of hurdles, and suddenly his glittering potential looked set to be tarnished.
4.2A sequence of locks by which a canal ascends an incline.
Example sentences
  • At Nob End, Little Lever, walkers can see the unique lock flight that lifted canal boats up 66 feet in just 200 yards.
  • The waterway is a thread linking many architectural and engineering triumphs, including aqueducts, pumping stations and lock flights.
  • Mr Jones's father set up the scrap business at the foot of Caen Hill, near the famous flight of locks on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
5An extravagant or far-fetched idea or thought process: his research assistant was prone to flights of fancy
More example sentences
  • This talk of funk, punk and devil-worship is starting to fuel a few wild suggestions and flights of fancy.
  • It was much funnier than it sounds, and the four physicians that showed up to create this cast that inspires my weird flights of fancy and I were all howling.
  • Raspberries have inspired flights of fancy in haute cuisine, most often in the guise of syrups and sauces used as an accompaniment to other fruits such as pears and figs.
6The tail of a dart.
Example sentences
  • The standard clock-face became established in the late 19th century, and paper flights to fit the darts were patented in 1898.
  • Believe it or not, you can buy flights for darts that come complete with the smell of stale beer.
  • In fact it suggests to us nothing less than a set of plastic dart flights.


[with object]
1British (In soccer, cricket, etc.) deliver (a ball) with well-judged trajectory and pace: he flighted a free kick into the box
More example sentences
  • Midway through the first period, Gareth Williams delivered a well flighted ball into the box and Kirk Jackson sent a soaring header over Mark Ovendale from 18 yards.
  • The visitors' defence was finally breached when Stuart Airedrie's excellently flighted ball was dropped by the stand-in keeper and defender Jonathan Best was quickest to react and placed the ball in the bottom corner.
  • Lofthouse flighted the ball beyond the last defender and centre half Stuart Dibb stole in to steer his finish beyond Mitchell.
2Provide (an arrow or dart) with feathers or vanes: shafts of wood flighted with a handful of feathers
More example sentences
  • The chances are that Mark Andy flighted the dart.
  • My dad still has his original goose feather flighted darts too.
3Shoot (wildfowl) in flight: (as noun flighting) duck and geese flighting
More example sentences
  • This accessible estate has a pheasant shoot, roe deerstalking and duck flighting - plus stables



in full flight

Escaping as fast as possible: soon the infantry were in full flight
1.1Having gained momentum in a run or activity: Yorke was brought down in full flight
More example sentences
  • Coventry skipper Paul Williams conceded a free-kick on the edge of his own penalty area after bringing down Ryan Giggs in full flight.
  • The sight of Watson in full flight would have brought a smile to even the most sour of faces.
  • There was some justice attached to the goal, for the free-kick had been awarded when Alex Rae brought down Darren Huckerby in full flight.

put someone/thing to flight

Cause someone or something to flee: the hussars would have been put to flight
More example sentences
  • Dawn said she joined in the attack with a hosepipe and a stick, and these, combined with continued attacks from the robins in particular, put the snake to flight and they eventually drove it into nearby thick bush.
  • I will send faintness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies; the sound of a driven leaf shall put them to flight, and they shall flee as one flees from the sword, and they shall fall when none pursues.
  • Christ is risen and the devils are put to flight!
chase away, chase off, drive back/away, drive off, drive out, send away, scare off, scatter, scatter to the four winds, disperse, stampede, rout;
British  see off
informal send packing

take flight

1Take off and fly: the ducks took flight
More example sentences
  • A duck took flight as I took a seat by Susanita's side, making a fluttering sound in its wake.
  • A large flock of birds took flight as the tree that Athrahn was hacking up, fell.
  • For instance, in the opening moments, a sinister flock of birds takes flight and a hearse-like limousine crosses the path of a fire truck backing out of a station.
2 (also take to flight) Flee: many Huguenots took flight from France
More example sentences
  • Did you not see that while fighting the Pathans, they took to flight which was deceptive.
  • Instantly, it took to flight, heading away from the man.
  • Pavli rushed from his bedroom and took to flight, landing on his mother's lap and forcing a surprised laugh.
flee, run, run away, run off, make a run for it, run for it, be gone, make off, take off, take to one's heels, make a break for it, bolt, beat a (hasty) retreat, make a quick exit, make one's getaway, escape, absent oneself, make oneself scarce, abscond, head for the hills, do a disappearing act
informal beat it, clear off, clear out, vamoose, skedaddle, split, cut and run, leg it, show a clean pair of heels, turn tail, scram
British informal do a runner, scarper, do a bunk
North American informal light out, bug out, cut out, peel out, take a powder, skidoo
Australian informal go through, shoot through
vulgar slang bugger off
archaic fly


Old English flyht 'action or manner of flying', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch vlucht and fly1. This was probably merged in Middle English with an unrecorded Old English word related to German Flucht and to flee, which is represented by sense 3 of the noun.

Words that rhyme with flight

affright, alight, alright, aright, bedight, bight, bite, blight, bright, byte, cite, dight, Dwight, excite, fight, fright, goodnight, height, ignite, impolite, indict, indite, invite, kite, knight, light, lite, might, mite, night, nite, outfight, outright, plight, polite, quite, right, rite, sight, site, skintight, skite, sleight, slight, smite, Snow-white, spite, sprite, tight, tonight, trite, twite, underwrite, unite, uptight, white, wight, wright, write

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