Definition of volant in US English:



  • 1(of an animal) able to fly or glide.

    ‘newly volant young’
    • ‘Fossils of volant paleoganthous carinate birds from the Paleocene and Eocene appear phenetically most similar to tinamiform birds.’
    • ‘The positive allometry of flight speeds ensures that translational speeds of volant vertebrate predators substantially exceed those of their insectan prey.’
    • ‘Based on the fact that young M. lucifugus are volant at three weeks of age, parturition on Brier Island must have occurred by 25 June.’
    • ‘All birds-even the largest volant species, have relatively low wing loadings relative to, for example, airplanes.’
    • ‘Among volant insects, behavior and time spent in flight varies greatly, both influencing probability of being swept off by the air stream.’
    fast, swift, rapid, speedy, high-speed, expeditious
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    1. 1.1 Relating to or characterized by flight.
      ‘volant ways of life’
      fast, fast-moving, quick, rapid, speedy, swift, breakneck, lightning, whistle-stop, brisk, prompt, expeditious
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    2. 1.2Heraldry usually postpositive Represented as flying.
      ‘a falcon volant’
      quick, fast, swift, speedy, high-speed, expeditious, express, brisk, lively, prompt, flying, fleeting, lightning, meteoric, overnight, whirlwind, fast-track, whistle-stop
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    3. 1.3literary Moving rapidly or lightly.
      ‘her sails caught a volant wind’


Mid 16th century (as a military term in the sense ‘capable of rapid movement’): from French, literally ‘flying’, present participle of voler, from Latin volare ‘to fly’.