verb (used with object), flung, fling·ing.

  1. to throw, cast, or hurl with force or violence: to fling a stone.
  2. to move (oneself) violently with impatience, contempt, or the like: She flung herself angrily from the room.
  3. to put suddenly or violently: to fling a suspect into jail.
  4. to project or speak sharply, curtly, or forcefully: He flung his answer at the questioner.
  5. to involve (oneself) vigorously in an undertaking.
  6. to move, do, or say (something) quickly: to fling a greeting in passing.
  7. to send suddenly and rapidly: to fling fresh troops into a battle.
  8. to throw aside or off.
  9. to throw to the ground, as in wrestling or horseback riding.

verb (used without object), flung, fling·ing.

  1. to move with haste or violence; rush; dash.
  2. to fly into violent and irregular motions, as a horse; throw the body about, as a person.
  3. to speak harshly or abusively (usually followed by out): He flung out disgustedly against the whole human race.


  1. an act of flinging.
  2. a short period of unrestrained pursuit of one’s wishes or desires: The week of partying was my last fling before starting a new job.
  3. an attempt at something: He took a fling at playwriting.
  4. a critical or contemptuous remark; gibe.
  5. Also called Highland fling. a lively Scottish dance characterized by flinging movements of the arms and legs.

verb flings, flinging or flung (flʌŋ) (mainly tr)

  1. to throw, esp with force or abandon; hurl or toss
  2. to put or send without warning or preparationto fling someone into jail
  3. (also intr) to move (oneself or a part of the body) with abandon or speedhe flung himself into a chair
  4. (usually foll by into) to apply (oneself) diligently and with vigour (to)
  5. to cast aside; disregardshe flung away her scruples
  6. to utter violently or offensively
  7. poetic to give out; emit


  1. the act or an instance of flinging; toss; throw
  2. a period or occasion of unrestrained, impulsive, or extravagant behaviourto have a fling
  3. any of various vigorous Scottish reels full of leaps and turns, such as the Highland fling
  4. a trial; tryto have a fling at something different

c.1300, probably from or related to Old Norse flengja “to flog,” of uncertain origin. The Middle English intransitive sense is that suggested by phrase have a fling at “make a try.” An obsolete word for “streetwalker, harlot” was fling-stink (1670s). Related: Flung; flinging.


“attempt, attack,” early 14c.; see fling (v.). Sense of “period of indulgence on the eve of responsibilities” first attested 1827. Meaning “vigorous dance” (associated with the Scottish Highlands) is from 1806.

In addition to the idiom beginning with fling

  • fling oneself at someone

also see:

  • last fling

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

52 queries 2.046