flight 1 (flīt)
a. The motion of an object in or through a medium, especially through the earth's atmosphere or through space.
b. An instance of such motion.
c. The distance covered in such motion: the long flight from Seattle to Little Rock.
a. The act or process of flying through the air by means of wings.
b. The ability to fly: Flight is characteristic of nearly all birds.
3. A swift passage or movement: barely noticed the flight of time.
4. A scheduled airline run or trip into space: the 7:00 flight to New York; the next flight of the space shuttle.
5. A group, especially of birds or aircraft, flying together.
6. A number of aircraft in the US Air Force forming a subdivision of a squadron.
7. A round of competition, as in a sports tournament.
8. An exuberant or transcendent effort or display: a flight of the imagination; flights of oratory.
9. A series of stairs rising from one landing to another.
10. A curved plate or flange that winds in a spiral around the center shaft of an auger, designed to transport loose material upward or backward along the shaft as the auger rotates. Also called flighting.
11. A set of small samples, as of different kinds of wine or beer, that are served at the same time for comparative tasting.
intr.v. flight·ed, flight·ing, flights
To migrate or fly in flocks.
[Middle English, from Old English flyht; see pleu- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.