Definition of fling in US English:



  • 1with object and adverbial of direction Throw or hurl forcefully.

    ‘he picked up the debris and flung it away’
    figurative ‘I was flung into jail’
    • ‘All of the members of the Melody crouched, throwing their hands over their heads to fling away the flying debris.’
    • ‘Guests are enthralled with bartenders who flip bottles, toss some glasses and fling a few mixing sets.’
    • ‘Billy was then flung back to when he was twelve years old, visiting the rim of the Grand Canyon.’
    • ‘Without gravity, we would be immediately flung into outer space at l, 000 miles per hour.’
    • ‘The troll flung these in every direction until the present was laid bare before him.’
    • ‘Yet they cannot stand the heat of scrutiny, nor even some of the mud they throw being flung back at them.’
    • ‘With that, he flung Bort over his shoulder and threw him against a wall.’
    • ‘Azyra snapped out of her trance just in time she scrambled away from the light just before it silently detonated with enough force to fling her from the fire escape.’
    • ‘His head spinning, the impact of the collision threw Tobias from his spot on the ladder and flung him against the other bookshelf.’
    • ‘She looked like a limp doll, contorted and abused and violently flung aside.’
    • ‘Stones and debris had been flung up on to the grassy area.’
    • ‘Landing by Sabetha they grabbed her shoulders and flipped her over flinging her against a tree.’
    • ‘When he had flung those, another two formed and they were thrown as well.’
    • ‘The books I had were opened and flung far across the room.’
    • ‘The creature roared again, and Aligore was suddenly flung to the ground.’
    • ‘The boots were next to go, and those were flung in different directions with dull thuds.’
    • ‘Ken arrived at the front door, which had always denied his presence and flung him back forcefully if he dared touch it.’
    • ‘But any comet daring enough to pass close to Jupiter gets flung out in a new direction.’
    • ‘She flung the two pieces at Stella and threw the scrapbook on the floor.’
    • ‘He is thrown backward and his rifle has been flung out of his hand.’
    throw, toss, sling, hurl, cast, pitch, lob, bowl, launch, flip, shy, send, propel, project, aim, direct, catapult, fire, send flying, let fly with
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    1. 1.1 Move or push (something) suddenly or violently.
      ‘he flung back the bedclothes’
      with object and complement ‘Jennifer flung open a door’
      • ‘I angrily swipe my access card, watch the light on the lock turn green, and put my weight into opening the door, flinging it out of my way.’
      • ‘Pete had had his fingers entwined in her red locks and she had let her hands roam his back when the door was suddenly flung open.’
      • ‘She flings out her hands to break her fall, slips, and crashes to the ground.’
      • ‘Wrenching the door knob violently, she flings the door open and is met with stunned glances from two suited businessmen.’
      • ‘He breathed deeply and then flung open his laptop's lid, turning the computer on.’
      • ‘Slipping to the door he flung it open and rushed for the bathroom.’
      • ‘Lidgerwood violently flung the flap of the tent open, his groggy mind struggling to make sense of all this, trying to place him.’
      • ‘PJ stepped back and jump kicked the door flinging it open.’
      • ‘On returning a drunken someone would make it back to the door, fling it open and stagger through it, forgetting to shut it at all.’
      • ‘Abigail flung a hand into her hair, brushing it back, and glaring.’
      • ‘He stopped and flung his car door open before storming back to the van, shouting.’
      • ‘He flung his tail upward and made Victor fly right into his hands.’
      • ‘The storeowner bounded to the door and flung it open, running out into the street.’
      • ‘My fangs glistened as I stalked to the door and flung it open.’
      • ‘He jumped up from his desk, ran to the door and flung it open.’
      • ‘Suddenly, the door was flung open and the Duke of Rivenston strode inside.’
      • ‘Evan ran to the door and flung it open letting the cool air wash over me.’
      • ‘She would stop, peek in a door, and then either fling it wide open or close it and move on.’
      • ‘An arm was flung over my shoulder and I shrugged it off.’
      • ‘Taking off my gloves, I ran to the front door and flung it open.’
    2. 1.2fling oneself Throw oneself headlong.
      ‘he flung himself down at her feet with a laugh’
      • ‘Satisfied with his move, he flings himself back into position in his chair.’
      • ‘When period flavour is required, an actress flings herself on to the stage, shrieks and throws her beads and arms into the air.’
      • ‘It's a signal: Suddenly every animal in the troop flies to the edge of the precipice and flings itself off.’
      • ‘Anyway, she just flung herself up against the sack, so I think she is as excited about the new furniture as I am.’
      • ‘Giggs nearly slid home a Kleberson cross, before Van Nistlerooy flung himself headlong at a Scholes cross only to head the ball wide.’
      • ‘I saw girls at the wedding flinging themselves at his 12-year-old son.’
      • ‘They, the ones with sad armpits and mouths bursting with the greatest hunger flung themselves upon the roundness of the world with arms and legs made of net.’
      • ‘Trailing streaks of silver water flung themselves against the cold windows of the train.’
      • ‘An extremely intoxicated couple flung themselves headlong through the entrance and, for a moment, appeared as if they were going to navigate the counter hurdle-style.’
      • ‘As the song approaches its high point, Lena flings herself onto Barry.’
      • ‘Colin's sled seemed stable enough and he flung himself down the slope without incident.’
      • ‘With a lash of his hand a wave of air pressure flung itself against Lynx, throwing him backwards into the lagoon.’
      • ‘Dogs, who have been cooped up all day, now rush to fences, or fling themselves against front doors, and bark, giving it all they have in the way of canine fury, as I walk by.’
      • ‘The rabbit flung itself sideways into the thickest part of the cat tails.’
      • ‘Rather than charge out to fling themselves headlong upon their foes as they had then, they'd chosen to mount stubborn defensive actions, fighting for every ridge line and runoff-swollen stream.’
      • ‘You can't help but picture thousands of salmon squeezed into some natural bottleneck, flinging themselves enthusiastically at anything you throw at them.’
      • ‘He snarled and, throwing down the wires, he flung himself in a chair.’
      • ‘What's stopping him from flinging himself on the mercy of the court and pleading guilty?’
      • ‘He is restrained, courteous and tries to teach Sarah to make rituals, and savour pleasures rather than flinging herself headlong at them.’
      • ‘You flung yourself off a 105.6-foot waterfall.’
    3. 1.3fling oneself into Wholeheartedly engage in or begin on (an enterprise)
      ‘the producer flung himself into an ugly battle with the studio’
      • ‘When she got home she flung herself into the ‘getting ready’ process with enthusiasm.’
      • ‘Even she is hilarious with the way she flings herself into the part of a poor girl determined never to go back again.’
      • ‘True to the tradition of convent-educated girls in fiction, Aurora flings herself into a voluptuous life of lunches and lovers.’
      • ‘They have lately flung themselves into the practice of being - if just a little - up against it.’
      • ‘So long as there was a wall round the cliff's edge they could fling themselves into every frantic game and make the place the noisiest of nurseries.’
      • ‘He kicked up his heels and flung himself into the carefree life of a bachelor.’
      • ‘Marching in a demonstration, by contrast, is among the most active forms of participation in political life. Demonstrators have bestirred themselves, put off other plans, braved the elements, flung themselves into action.’
      • ‘One reader wrote to say she was training as a foster-parent; and Mary Stott, a great woman's editor, flung herself into women's causes and founded the Association of Widows.’
      • ‘More than a few Scots will fling themselves into the frozen fray as Winter Olympians for Team GB this fortnight in Salt Lake City.’
      • ‘Robertson has flung himself into the challenge, which he sees as an opportunity to improve his coaching credentials.’
      • ‘Crossleyans realised that one score would put them right back in the match and flung themselves into attack with both wingers prominent.’
      • ‘Buoyed by that, Rovers flung themselves into the contest again.’
      • ‘Inspired, Kumar flung himself into high-altitude mountaineering and began racking up notable achievements.’
      • ‘They flung themselves into the work in an uncalculating way.’
      • ‘He rarely rode for himself, but flung himself into solely helping his team leader.’
      • ‘Pete's cousin had died from an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy and, with his usual enthusiasm, Pete flung himself into setting up this new charity.’
      • ‘But he is the quondam atheist who has flung himself into Opus Dei.’
      • ‘And so it was that two figures, one whose brutally short red hair fluttered in the breeze and the other whose blond mane marked him as a sea-raider, flung themselves into a final combat.’
      • ‘But it's not often that you see a genuine superpower fling itself into such a total policy fiasco.’
      • ‘Time and time again, Kennedy, McNamara Varga, Agathe and Thompson flung themselves into last ditch tackles and won.’
    4. 1.4fling something on/off Put on or take off clothes carelessly or rapidly.
      • ‘Locating a sports jacket, he flung it on and tightened the draw string on his pajama pants.’
      • ‘I rummaged in the sock drawer for a matching pair, flung on a jacket, and jammed my feet into trainers, and then walked to work in record time.’
      • ‘He'd been chilling out in the hot tub in his shorts and just flung a fur coat on.’
      • ‘I quickly flung on some black flip flops and grabbed my make up and my backpack.’
      • ‘We flung some clothes on and dashed to the window, staring out into the dark night for a set of headlights.’
      • ‘I flung off the shirt, or at least tried, because it was buttoned up.’
      • ‘I remembered that we had a team meeting at 12.30, so I flung some clothes on and dashed off to work.’
      • ‘I closed my eyes, flung off my clothes and jumped into the water.’
      • ‘Ant ran up to his bedroom and flung his jacket on.’
    5. 1.5 Utter (words) forcefully.
      ‘the words were flung at her like an accusation’
      • ‘Asha flung words that she didn't mean, or that she didn't want to believe, hurt and angry.’
      • ‘Mib stopped in mid-step, his words flung at her as if he had slapped her.’
      • ‘Humiliated, furious with herself, she turned at the last moment to fling a few last words at him.’
      • ‘The worst of these are rhyming words flung together arrhymically.’
      • ‘He had flung whatever word that came to her mind back at her, and that hurt more.’
      • ‘I stood, panting, as I poured out all the words I had been longing to fling at her for months.’
      • ‘These were the obvious insults flung during the lecture.’
      • ‘She accused him, flinging words at him, trying hard not to cry.’
    6. 1.6no object , with adverbial of direction Go angrily or violently; rush.
      ‘he flung away to his study, slamming the door behind him’
      • ‘Meta flung back quickly and landed on the floor, dust flying everywhere.’


  • 1A short period of enjoyment or wild behavior.

    ‘one final fling before a tranquil retirement’
    • ‘For Yorke, who is now 36 years old, it was a final fling for both him and his illustrious friend.’
    • ‘He is satisfied with his lot even if the rot will set in soon and the freshness is pure deception lasting no longer than cherry blossoms tossed on snow when north winds are enjoying their final fling.’
    • ‘Grain prices took their customary nosedive after last year's brief upward fling.’
    • ‘What was unexpected, amazingly, gloriously unexpected was the way the game's elder statesmen had one final fling.’
    • ‘But if you're looking for a game that'll be more than a weekend fling, look elsewhere.’
    • ‘Saturday's point gives them added insurance against a final fling from George Burley's Tractor Boys but even the ever-optimistic Holdsworth is playing it safe.’
    • ‘Tottenham wooed him again, in 1997-8, for one final fling.’
    • ‘All the indications are, though, that this is his final fling.’
    • ‘As far as memorable moments go, the final fling of the Westmorland Orchestra concert season promises to be a real gem in the ensemble's diamond jubilee year.’
    • ‘But a funny thing happened this week: in our final fling for the year, the props came pouring in from all over, and suddenly, this whole enterprise doesn't seem quite so otiose.’
    • ‘Performance coach Meg Ritchie is delighted that Liz has come out of retirement for a final fling at an arena close enough to ensure a sizeable contingent of home fans will cheer her to the echo.’
    • ‘Although no-one knew it at the time, the 1993 tour was to be the last of the old school, the final fling of an amateur era extending back for a century and more.’
    • ‘The inspection fitters said there had been some talk of a get together among the workers - a final fling as a group of workers.’
    • ‘Again, we have a wild fling, in which the supplies of the last year are consumed.’
    • ‘Jeb's story is a quieter one, more of the daily routine of life than of the weekend flings.’
    • ‘Except good sense tells me I should enjoy this last fling, and by all means see Montana.’
    • ‘While most trips last one or two weeks, everything from a weekend fling to a monthlong sojourn is possible.’
    • ‘He then had a spectacularly-unsuccessful stint as coach of a poor Lakers team in 1994 before his final fling as a player in 1996.’
    • ‘It's trick or treat for Halloween, the last night of summer on the last night of the month, traditionally the time when the spirits of the dead are allowed a final fling before winter sets in.’
    • ‘Besides, the spring fling at the Fairgrounds forgave everyone and everything, rain or shine.’
    good time, binge, spree, bit of fun, bit of amusement, night on the town
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    1. 1.1 A short, spontaneous sexual relationship.
      ‘I had a fling with someone when I was at college’
      • ‘Their affair is just a summer fling, he tells his mother - nothing serious.’
      • ‘He didn't understand how some people could just want flings and other short relationships just for the sex.’
      • ‘Or was it just one last fling before your wedding night?’
      • ‘His extra-marital flings were always famed.’
      • ‘I'd hate this to be a one-night fling.’
      • ‘I had a few flings in college, more sexual partners than he did, and he has a problem with this.’
      • ‘I don't care if they were cringeworthy flings or epic romances, or a little of both; that's beside the point.’
      • ‘If a long-lasting relationship develops out of the fling, so be it.’
      • ‘She has had five serious relationships the rest have all been short flings, one-nighters and so on.’
      • ‘As the film's title suggests, however, theirs is a summer fling.’
      • ‘It appears like you're looking for a fling or a casual sexual relationship, but it's not that simple.’
      • ‘Her pregnancy is the result of a brief fling with ex-husband, Gavin.’
      • ‘I even had a few wild flings with a couple of nice guys, but things always seemed to go south when it came to relationships.’
      • ‘I had a little quick one-night fling during our hiatus, and I have to admit that I enjoyed it.’
      • ‘I've had a few short flings in that time, but the most recent was two years ago.’
      • ‘Did Julie think that this was just a casual fling?’
      • ‘"Casual flings can be very, very sweet, Nadia."’
      • ‘One more bit here: she has a history of cutting off short flings and then not seeing those people again.’
      • ‘I'm just a casual fling on the side?’
      • ‘Adam and Louise had enjoyed a brief fling in the past and there was still an attraction between them.’
      affair, love affair, relationship, romance, flirtation, dalliance, liaison, entanglement, romantic entanglement, involvement, attachment, affair of the heart, intrigue
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  • 2

    short for Highland fling


Middle English (in the sense ‘go violently’): perhaps related to Old Norse flengja ‘flog’. The main verb sense is based on an earlier sense ‘reckless movement of the body’ and dates from the early 19th century.