Definition of flit in English:


verbflits, flitting, flitted

  • 1no object, with adverbial of direction Move swiftly and lightly.

    ‘small birds flitted about in the branches’
    figurative ‘the idea had flitted through his mind’
    • ‘He flitted from one idea to another, a bee looking for nectar.’
    • ‘Flickers of a fuzzy memory danced through her mind and flitted away in the same moment, leaving only fragments behind.’
    • ‘Beautiful birds are flitting about everywhere one looks.’
    • ‘I sat very still, and watched as various birds flitted about the yard and in the fig tree.’
    • ‘Rare marbled white butterflies flit along the overgrown route of the old track, and among the nettles and the briars there may be pyramidal and spotted orchids and unusual exotic species carried there years ago by the train.’
    • ‘Images from the night before flit through my mind.’
    • ‘It's clear from his flitting appearances in recent times that fitness is not a problem.’
    • ‘Thankfully this solitary poor moment is but one in a huge eight-minute orchestration - one of the shorter tracks on the album - that flits from section to section.’
    • ‘As we sat on our patio, birds were flitting about and singing, giving everyone yet another reason to enjoy the first really nice day this year.’
    • ‘Dio's mind flitted uselessly, trying to come up with an idea, a plan, an escape, but without hope.’
    • ‘His green eyes flitted over her, swiftly taking in every inch from her boots to the hat shrouding her face from the sun.’
    • ‘The birds flitted and the sunlight filtered through the overhanging branches.’
    • ‘Birds were chirping, flitting from one twig to another.’
    • ‘We speculated what might have happened but when John and I were gazing out over the river later, we caught a fleeting glance of a young bird flitting past.’
    • ‘Various excuses flitted across my mind, but I decided to be frank with her.’
    • ‘She flitted from shadow to shadow among the houses, wraithlike, till she reached the edge of the burg.’
    • ‘Martinu's mind flits about from idea to idea in a surreal way.’
    • ‘The thought that maybe he liked me had once flitted through my mind, but that idea was quickly rendered impossible.’
    • ‘As flashes of people, animals, houses and nature flitted around him, he thought long and hard about what he was going to do.’
    • ‘Disappointment flitted across her ruddy cheeks, but Gran could never be unhappy for more than a moment.’
    dart, dance, skip, play, dash, trip, flick, skim, flutter, bob, bounce, spring, scoot, hop, gambol, caper, cavort, prance, frisk, scamper
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    1. 1.1Scottish, Northern English no object Move house or leave one's home, typically secretly so as to escape creditors or obligations.
      depart from, go away from, go from, withdraw from, retire from, take oneself off from, exit from, take one's leave of, pull out of, quit, be gone from, decamp from, disappear from, abandon, vacate, absent oneself from, evacuate
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nounPlural flits

  • An act of moving house or leaving one's home, typically secretly so as to escape creditors or obligations.

    ‘moonlight flits from one insalubrious dwelling to another’
    • ‘He also said the Indian man owed money to the tax man and had done a midnight flit.’
    • ‘Crowds have swelled to capacity, increasing pressure for the club to move to a 55,000-ground at the waterfront, a flit which remains uncertain for financial reasons.’
    • ‘Sleeping through the night was inconceivable, too, as official visits outside the working day, very early in the morning or long after work, were the most productive in an industry well acquainted with the overnight flit.’
    • ‘One option is a move to the former Drybrough brewery site in Craigmillar, though Dalrymple says such a flit would depend on improved transport links, including a railway station or tram stop.’
    • ‘The portents are that, despite all the problems, the outcome is a foregone conclusion and he will not need to call in the removal men next year for a flit to his new £3.5m gaff.’
    • ‘Letters should be sent to Sam who has just returned after the firm he was closing for did a moonlight flit.’
    • ‘He made a moonlight flit from a rented flat in Plymouth Road, Thurrock, after racking up over a £1, 000 worth of unpaid rent.’
    • ‘He was a toddler when his family pioneered the big flit from central Glasgow into Castlemilk.’
    • ‘Then they did a flit, leaving a whole pile of rent and bills unpaid.’
    • ‘One such scenario would be if one of their wee league concepts like a European or Atlantic set-up came off, although their preferred option of a flit to England looks like a non-starter.’
    • ‘She screamed so hard we did a midnight flit to the doctor one night.’
    • ‘It was a midnight flit, and I don't think anyone knew where he was for years, although he did spend Christmas with us when I was 17, and I spent a few days with him in Townsville about five years after that.’
    escape, breakout, break, bolt for freedom, running away, flight, bolting, absconding, decamping, fleeing, flit
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Middle English (in the Scots and northern English sense): from Old Norse flytja; related to fleet.