AskDefine | Define flight

Dictionary Definition



1 a formation of aircraft in flight
2 an instance of traveling by air; "flying was still an exciting adventure for him" [syn: flying]
3 a stairway (set of steps) between one floor or landing and the next [syn: flight of stairs, flight of steps]
4 the act of escaping physically; "he made his escape from the mental hospital"; "the canary escaped from its cage"; "his flight was an indication of his guilt" [syn: escape]
5 an air force unit smaller than a squadron
6 passing above and beyond ordinary bounds; "a flight of fancy"; "flights of rhetoric"; "flights of imagination"
7 the path followed by an object moving through space [syn: trajectory]
8 a flock of flying birds
9 a scheduled trip by plane between designated airports; "I took the noon flight to Chicago"


1 shoot a bird in flight
2 fly in a flock; "flighting wild geese"
3 decorate with feathers; "fledge an arrow" [syn: fledge]

User Contributed Dictionary






  1. (obscure or slang): Wayward, opposed.
    Note: Nowadays we refer to people being flighty instead.


  1. The act of flying.
    Birds are capable of flight
  2. An instance of flying.
    The migrating birds' flight took them to Africa.
  3. A collective term for doves or swallows.
  4. A journey made by an air craft, eg a balloon, plane or space shuttle.
    The flight to Paris leaves at 7 o'clock tonight
  5. The act of fleeing. (It is noun version of flee).
    take flight
  6. A set of stairs or an escalator. A series of stairs between landings.
  7. A floor which are reached to by stairs or escalators.
    How many flights is it up?
  8. A feather on an arrow or dart used to help it follow an even path.
  9. A paper plane.
  10. : The movement of a spinning ball through the air - concerns its speed, trajectory and drift.
  11. The ballistic trajectory of an arrow or other projectile.
  12. A aerodynamic surfaces designed to guide such a projectile's trajectory.
  13. Act of fleeing of a refugee or a fugitive.
  14. An air force unit.
  15. Several sample glasses of a specific wine varietal. The pours are smaller than a full glass and the flight will generally include three to five different samples.


act of flying
instance of flying
group of doves or swallows
  • Italian: stormo
journey made by an aircraft
  • Italian: volo
  • Portuguese: voo
  • Russian: полёт
  • Swedish: flight
act of fleeing
  • French: fuite
  • Italian: fuga
  • Portuguese: fuga
  • Swedish: flykt
set of stairs
  • Italian: rampa
floor of building
  • Italian: piano
feather on an arrow

Extensive Definition

Flight is the process by which an object achieves sustained movement either through the air (or movement beyond earth's atmosphere, in the case of spaceflight) by aerodynamically generating lift, propulsive thrust or aerostatically using buoyancy.

Forces for flight

Forces relevant to flight are
These forces must be balanced for stable flight to occur.
The stabilization of flight angles (roll, yaw and pitch) and the rates of change of these can involve horizontal stabilizers (i.e. 'a tail'), ailerons and other movable aerodynamic devices which control angular stability i.e. flight attitude (which in turn affects altitude, heading).

Animal flight

The most successful groups of living things that fly are insects, birds, and bats. The extinct Pterosaurs, an order of reptiles contemporaneous with the dinosaurs, were also very successful flying animals. Each of these groups' wings evolved independently. The wings of the flying vertebrate groups are all based on the forelimbs, but differ significantly in structure; those of insects are highly-modified versions of structures that form gills in most other groups of arthropods. See also Bird flight.
Bats are the only mammals capable of true flight. However, there are several gliding mammals which are able to glide from tree to tree using fleshy membranes between their limbs; some can travel hundreds of meters in this way with very little loss in height. Flying frogs use greatly enlarged webbed feet for a similar purpose, and there are flying lizards which employ their unusually wide, flattened rib-cages to the same end. Certain snakes also use a flattened rib-cage to glide, with a back and forth motion much the same as they use on the ground.
Flying fish can glide using enlarged wing-like fins, and have been observed soaring for hundreds of meters using the updraft on the leading edges of waves. It is thought that this ability was chosen by natural selection because it was an effective means of escape from underwater predators.
Most birds fly (see bird flight), with some exceptions. The largest birds, the ostrich and the emu, are earthbound, as were the now-extinct dodos, while the non-flying penguins have adapted their wings for use under water. Most small flightless birds are native to small islands, and lead a lifestyle where flight would confer little advantage. The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest animal in the world; its terminal velocity exceeds 370 km/h (199 mph) in a dive.
Among living animals that fly, the wandering albatross has the greatest wingspan, up to 3.5 meters (11.5 ft); the great bustard has the greatest weight, topping at 21 kilograms (46 pounds).
Among the many species of insects, some fly and some do not (See insect flight).

Mechanical flight

Mechanical flight is the use of a machine to fly. These machines include airplanes, gliders, helicopters, autogyros, airships, balloons, ornithopters, and spacecraft. Gliders provide unpowered flight. Another form of mechanical flight is parasailing where a parachute-like object is pulled by a boat. In an airplane lift is created by the wings; the shape of the wings of the airplane are designed specially for the type of flight desired. There are different types of wings: tempered, semi-tempered, sweptback, rectangular, and eliptical. An aircraft wing is sometimes called an airfoil, which is a device that creates lift by differences in pressure.

Religion, mythology and fiction

In religion, mythology and fiction, human or anthropomorphic characters sometimes have the ability to fly. Examples include angels in the Hebrew Bible, Daedalus in Greek mythology, and Superman in comics. Other non-human legendary creatures, such as some dragons and Pegasus, are also depicted with an ability to fly.
The ability to fly may come from wings or other visible means of propulsion, from superhuman or god-like powers, or may simply be left unexplained.

The study of flight

Leanardo Da Vinci is one of the best-known early students of flight. He made many prototypes of parachutes wings and ornithopters.

See also


flight in Arabic: طيران
flight in German: Fliegen (Fortbewegung)
flight in Spanish: Vuelo
flight in French: Vol (animal)
flight in Indonesian: Terbang
flight in Italian: Volo
flight in Hebrew: טיסה
flight in Japanese: 飛翔
flight in Polish: Lot (lotnictwo)
flight in Portuguese: Vôo
flight in Romanian: Zbor
flight in Russian: Полёт
flight in Simple English: Flight
flight in Slovak: Let
flight in Finnish: Lentäminen
flight in Swedish: Flygning
flight in Contenese: 飛翔

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

AWOL, Brownian movement, French leave, a mass of, a world of, abandonment, abscond, absence without leave, absquatulation, acciaccatura, advance, aeronautics, aeroplane, air arm, air corps, air force, air service, air speed, aircraft, airlift, airline, airliner, alienation, altitude peak, angular motion, appoggiatura, arabesque, army, arrow, arrowhead, ascending, ascent, astronautics, autism, autistic thinking, automatic control, aviation, avoidance mechanism, axial motion, backflowing, backing, backward motion, ballooning, barb, beat a retreat, bevy, blame-shifting, blast-off, blind flying, bobtailed arrow, bolt, bolting, break, breakout, bunch, burn, burnout, cadence, cadenza, career, ceiling, celerity, charm, chested arrow, climbing, cloth yard shaft, cloud, cloud-seeding, clutter, coloratura, commercial aviation, compensation, contact flying, course, covey, cruising, current, dart, decamp, decampment, decompensation, defense mechanism, deliverance, delivery, depart, departure, dereism, dereistic thinking, descending, descent, desert, desertion, disappearance, disappearing act, dismiss, dispatch, disperse, displacement, dissociation, division, downward motion, drift, driftage, ebbing, egress, elopement, embellishment, emergence, emigration, emotional insulation, end of burning, escadrille, escape, escape into fantasy, escape mechanism, escapism, evacuation, evasion, excursion, exit, exodus, expatriation, expedition, extrication, fantasizing, fantasy, fastness, feather, fioritura, flee, fleeing, flit, flock, flocks, flourish, flow, flurry, flux, flying, forward motion, freeing, fugitation, gaggle, general aviation, getaway, gliding, going, grace, grace note, ground speed, hail, haste, hasty retreat, hegira, hive, hop, host, hurry, ignition, immigration, impact, in-migration, incidental, incidental note, instantaneousness, intermigration, isolation, issuance, issue, jailbreak, jam, jump, knots, lam, large amount, launch, leak, leakage, leaving, legion, liberation, lift-off, light out, lightning speed, long mordent, lots, many, masses of, migration, miles per hour, mob, mordent, mounting, muchness, multitude, murmuration, negativism, nest, numbers, oblique motion, ongoing, onrush, ornament, out-migration, outlet, overcompensation, pack, parting, passage, passing, pilotage, plague, plane, plunging, plurality, pralltriller, precipitation, prisonbreak, progress, projection, promptitude, promptness, psychotaxis, put to flight, quantities, quarrel, quick exit, quickness, quite a few, radial motion, random motion, rapidity, rationalization, reed, reflowing, refluence, reflux, regression, release, remigration, removal, rescue, resistance, retirement, retreat, retrogression, riddance, rising, rocket launching, roulade, round pace, rout, rpm, ruck, run, running away, rush, sailing, sailplaning, scape, scores, scramming, send away, send off, send packing, set, setting-free, shaft, shoal, shoot, shot, shove off, sideward motion, single mordent, sinking, skedaddle, skedaddling, skein, slip, snappiness, soaring, sociological adjustive reactions, solo, speed, speediness, split, spring, squadron, stampede, sternway, strategic air force, stream, sublimation, subsiding, substitution, swarm, swarming, swift rate, swiftness, tactical air force, take flight, test flight, throng, tidy sum, traject, trajectory, trajet, transmigration, trek, trend, trip, turn, upward motion, velocity, velocity peak, vent, volley, walkout, watch, wing, winging, wish-fulfillment fantasy, wishful thinking, withdraw, withdrawal, worlds of
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1