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’
    • ‘He is thrown backward and his rifle has been flung out of his hand.’
    • ‘The books I had were opened and flung far across the room.’
    • ‘Landing by Sabetha they grabbed her shoulders and flipped her over flinging her against a tree.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Without gravity, we would be immediately flung into outer space at l, 000 miles per hour.’
    • ‘His head spinning, the impact of the collision threw Tobias from his spot on the ladder and flung him against the other bookshelf.’
    • ‘She flung the two pieces at Stella and threw the scrapbook on the floor.’
    • ‘She looked like a limp doll, contorted and abused and violently flung aside.’
    • ‘Billy was then flung back to when he was twelve years old, visiting the rim of the Grand Canyon.’
    • ‘With that, he flung Bort over his shoulder and threw him against a wall.’
    • ‘Guests are enthralled with bartenders who flip bottles, toss some glasses and fling a few mixing sets.’
    • ‘Ken arrived at the front door, which had always denied his presence and flung him back forcefully if he dared touch it.’
    • ‘Yet they cannot stand the heat of scrutiny, nor even some of the mud they throw being flung back at them.’
    • ‘The troll flung these in every direction until the present was laid bare before him.’
    • ‘All of the members of the Melody crouched, throwing their hands over their heads to fling away the flying debris.’
    • ‘Stones and debris had been flung up on to the grassy area.’
    • ‘When he had flung those, another two formed and they were thrown as well.’
    • ‘But any comet daring enough to pass close to Jupiter gets flung out in a new direction.’
    • ‘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.’
    throw, toss, sling, hurl, cast, pitch, lob, bowl, launch, flip, shy, send, propel, project, aim, direct, catapult, fire, send flying, let fly with
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Move or push (something) suddenly or violently.
      ‘he flung back the bedclothes’
      with object and complement ‘Jennifer flung open a door’
      • ‘Abigail flung a hand into her hair, brushing it back, and glaring.’
      • ‘My fangs glistened as I stalked to the door and flung it open.’
      • ‘He flung his tail upward and made Victor fly right into his hands.’
      • ‘He stopped and flung his car door open before storming back to the van, shouting.’
      • ‘Wrenching the door knob violently, she flings the door open and is met with stunned glances from two suited businessmen.’
      • ‘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 would stop, peek in a door, and then either fling it wide open or close it and move on.’
      • ‘He jumped up from his desk, ran to the door and flung it open.’
      • ‘An arm was flung over my shoulder and I shrugged it off.’
      • ‘Slipping to the door he flung it open and rushed for the bathroom.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Suddenly, the door was flung open and the Duke of Rivenston strode inside.’
      • ‘He breathed deeply and then flung open his laptop's lid, turning the computer on.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She flings out her hands to break her fall, slips, and crashes to the ground.’
      • ‘Taking off my gloves, I ran to the front door and flung it open.’
      • ‘Evan ran to the door and flung it open letting the cool air wash over me.’
      • ‘PJ stepped back and jump kicked the door flinging it open.’
      • ‘The storeowner bounded to the door and flung it open, running out into the street.’
      • ‘Lidgerwood violently flung the flap of the tent open, his groggy mind struggling to make sense of all this, trying to place him.’
    2. 1.2fling oneself Throw oneself headlong.
      ‘he flung himself down at her feet with a laugh’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Anyway, she just flung herself up against the sack, so I think she is as excited about the new furniture as I am.’
      • ‘Satisfied with his move, he flings himself back into position in his chair.’
      • ‘You flung yourself off a 105.6-foot waterfall.’
      • ‘What's stopping him from flinging himself on the mercy of the court and pleading guilty?’
      • ‘I saw girls at the wedding flinging themselves at his 12-year-old son.’
      • ‘With a lash of his hand a wave of air pressure flung itself against Lynx, throwing him backwards into the lagoon.’
      • ‘He snarled and, throwing down the wires, he flung himself in a chair.’
      • ‘As the song approaches its high point, Lena flings herself onto Barry.’
      • ‘When period flavour is required, an actress flings herself on to the stage, shrieks and throws her beads and arms into the air.’
      • ‘Trailing streaks of silver water flung themselves against the cold windows of the train.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The rabbit flung itself sideways into the thickest part of the cat tails.’
      • ‘Giggs nearly slid home a Kleberson cross, before Van Nistlerooy flung himself headlong at a Scholes cross only to head the ball wide.’
      • ‘He is restrained, courteous and tries to teach Sarah to make rituals, and savour pleasures rather than flinging herself headlong at them.’
      • ‘Colin's sled seemed stable enough and he flung himself down the slope without incident.’
      • ‘You can't help but picture thousands of salmon squeezed into some natural bottleneck, flinging themselves enthusiastically at anything you throw at them.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's a signal: Suddenly every animal in the troop flies to the edge of the precipice and flings itself off.’
    3. 1.3fling oneself into Wholeheartedly engage in or begin on (an enterprise)
      ‘the producer flung himself into an ugly battle with the studio’
      • ‘Buoyed by that, Rovers flung themselves into the contest again.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When she got home she flung herself into the ‘getting ready’ process with enthusiasm.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Time and time again, Kennedy, McNamara Varga, Agathe and Thompson flung themselves into last ditch tackles and won.’
      • ‘They flung themselves into the work in an uncalculating way.’
      • ‘Inspired, Kumar flung himself into high-altitude mountaineering and began racking up notable achievements.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But it's not often that you see a genuine superpower fling itself into such a total policy fiasco.’
      • ‘He rarely rode for himself, but flung himself into solely helping his team leader.’
      • ‘They have lately flung themselves into the practice of being - if just a little - up against it.’
      • ‘Robertson has flung himself into the challenge, which he sees as an opportunity to improve his coaching credentials.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Even she is hilarious with the way she flings herself into the part of a poor girl determined never to go back again.’
      • ‘He kicked up his heels and flung himself into the carefree life of a bachelor.’
      • ‘Crossleyans realised that one score would put them right back in the match and flung themselves into attack with both wingers prominent.’
      • ‘But he is the quondam atheist who has flung himself into Opus Dei.’
      • ‘True to the tradition of convent-educated girls in fiction, Aurora flings herself into a voluptuous life of lunches and lovers.’
      • ‘More than a few Scots will fling themselves into the frozen fray as Winter Olympians for Team GB this fortnight in Salt Lake City.’
      • ‘Pete's cousin had died from an undiagnosed ectopic pregnancy and, with his usual enthusiasm, Pete flung himself into setting up this new charity.’
    4. 1.4fling something on/off Put on or take off clothes carelessly or rapidly.
      • ‘I closed my eyes, flung off my clothes and jumped into the water.’
      • ‘I flung off the shirt, or at least tried, because it was buttoned up.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We flung some clothes on and dashed to the window, staring out into the dark night for a set of headlights.’
      • ‘I quickly flung on some black flip flops and grabbed my make up and my backpack.’
      • ‘Ant ran up to his bedroom and flung his jacket on.’
      • ‘He'd been chilling out in the hot tub in his shorts and just flung a fur coat on.’
      • ‘Locating a sports jacket, he flung it on and tightened the draw string on his pajama pants.’
      • ‘I remembered that we had a team meeting at 12.30, so I flung some clothes on and dashed off to work.’
    5. 1.5 Utter (words) forcefully.
      ‘the words were flung at her like an accusation’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Asha flung words that she didn't mean, or that she didn't want to believe, hurt and angry.’
      • ‘He had flung whatever word that came to her mind back at her, and that hurt more.’
      • ‘Mib stopped in mid-step, his words flung at her as if he had slapped her.’
      • ‘These were the obvious insults flung during the lecture.’
      • ‘I stood, panting, as I poured out all the words I had been longing to fling at her for months.’
      • ‘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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Jeb's story is a quieter one, more of the daily routine of life than of the weekend flings.’
    • ‘The inspection fitters said there had been some talk of a get together among the workers - a final fling as a group of workers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What was unexpected, amazingly, gloriously unexpected was the way the game's elder statesmen had one final fling.’
    • ‘While most trips last one or two weeks, everything from a weekend fling to a monthlong sojourn is possible.’
    • ‘Grain prices took their customary nosedive after last year's brief upward fling.’
    • ‘Tottenham wooed him again, in 1997-8, for one final fling.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Except good sense tells me I should enjoy this last fling, and by all means see Montana.’
    • ‘For Yorke, who is now 36 years old, it was a final fling for both him and his illustrious friend.’
    • ‘But if you're looking for a game that'll be more than a weekend fling, look elsewhere.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Again, we have a wild fling, in which the supplies of the last year are consumed.’
    • ‘Besides, the spring fling at the Fairgrounds forgave everyone and everything, rain or shine.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All the indications are, though, that this is his final fling.’
    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.’
      • ‘I'd hate this to be a one-night fling.’
      • ‘I've had a few short flings in that time, but the most recent was two years ago.’
      • ‘If a long-lasting relationship develops out of the fling, so be it.’
      • ‘I had a few flings in college, more sexual partners than he did, and he has a problem with this.’
      • ‘One more bit here: she has a history of cutting off short flings and then not seeing those people again.’
      • ‘She has had five serious relationships the rest have all been short flings, one-nighters and so on.’
      • ‘He didn't understand how some people could just want flings and other short relationships just for the sex.’
      • ‘Did Julie think that this was just a casual fling?’
      • ‘Or was it just one last fling before your wedding night?’
      • ‘I don't care if they were cringeworthy flings or epic romances, or a little of both; that's beside the point.’
      • ‘I had a little quick one-night fling during our hiatus, and I have to admit that I enjoyed it.’
      • ‘"Casual flings can be very, very sweet, Nadia."’
      • ‘It appears like you're looking for a fling or a casual sexual relationship, but it's not that simple.’
      • ‘His extra-marital flings were always famed.’
      • ‘Adam and Louise had enjoyed a brief fling in the past and there was still an attraction between them.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As the film's title suggests, however, theirs is a summer fling.’
      • ‘I'm just a casual fling on the side?’
      • ‘Her pregnancy is the result of a brief fling with ex-husband, Gavin.’
      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.