Sense: 1, 3-7, 9
Origin: Old English fleoge
Sense: 2, 8, 10
Date: 1800-1900
Origin: FLY1


3 noun
Related topics: Clothes, Baseball, Other Sports, Insects
fly3 plural flies [countable]


HBI a small flying insect with two wings:
There were flies buzzing all around us.


especially American English also flies [plural] British EnglishDCC the part at the front of a pair of trousers which you can open:
He quickly did up his fly.
Your flies are undone.

somebody wouldn't hurt/harm a fly

informal used to say that someone is very gentle and is not likely to hurt anyone

be dying/dropping etc like flies

informalMI used to say that a lot of people are dying or becoming ill

a fly in the ointment

informal the only thing that spoils something and prevents it from being successful:
The only fly in the ointment was Jacky.

be a fly on the wall

to be able to watch what happens without other people knowing that you are there:
I wish I'd been a fly on the wall during that conversation.

there are no flies on somebody

British English spoken used to say that someone is not stupid and cannot be tricked

on the fly

a) technical while a computer program is actually running:
The code is translated on the fly.
b) while dealing with a situation, rather than before dealing with it:
So far, policy is being made on the fly.


DSO a hook that is made to look like a fly and is used for catching fish


DSB a fly ball

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