Definition of on the fly in US English:

on the fly


  • 1While in motion or progress.

    ‘his deep shot was caught on the fly’
    • ‘I have numerous ways that I catch and categorize information on the fly.’
    • ‘Mail was picked up on the fly using a catch arm on the side of the car swung out by a Railway Mail Clerk who at the same time kicked off a sack of mail for that place.’
    • ‘Workers must be able to access and manage their communications on the fly, and at a moment's notice from anywhere in the world.’
    • ‘It is a fantastic note-taking application, which will really aid those constantly collecting data on the fly.’
    • ‘She's able to do a translation on the fly and read the email to you in seamless English.’
    • ‘This is not so much a carelessly structured story as a story made up on the fly.’
    • ‘I ask you: who's speaking his heart, and who's crafting a response on the fly trying to cover all bases?’
    • ‘Are your adventures carefully planned out in several notebooks, or done on the fly?’
    • ‘The rap against him is he makes mistakes in coverage and has trouble adjusting on the fly.’
    1. 1.1Computing During the running of a computer program without interrupting the run.
      • ‘This will provide instant access to company data in documents created on screen on the fly.’
      • ‘Most of the pages are generated on the fly through a database query.’
      • ‘Graphical charts can be generated on the fly from this data or generated as static pages at scheduled intervals.’
      • ‘Volumes of storage can be allocated to application servers on the fly, without interrupting operation.’
      • ‘The tests even simulate how networks make bandwidth and other changes on the fly.’