verb (used without object), flit·ted, flit·ting.

  1. to move lightly and swiftly; fly, dart, or skim along: bees flitting from flower to flower.
  2. to flutter, as a bird.
  3. to pass quickly, as time: hours flitting by.
  4. Chiefly Scot. and North England.
    1. to depart or die.
    2. to change one’s residence.

verb (used with object), flit·ted, flit·ting.

  1. Chiefly Scot. to remove; transfer; oust or dispossess.


  1. a light, swift movement; flutter.
  2. Scot. and North England. a change of residence; instance of moving to a new address.
  3. Slang: Extremely Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a male homosexual.

verb flits, flitting or flitted (intr)

  1. to move along rapidly and lightly; skim or dart
  2. to fly rapidly and lightly; flutter
  3. to pass quickly; fleeta memory flitted into his mind
  4. Scot and Northern English dialect to move house
  5. British informal to depart hurriedly and stealthily in order to avoid obligations
  6. an informal word for elope


  1. the act or an instance of flitting
  2. slang, mainly US a male homosexual
  3. British informal a hurried and stealthy departure in order to avoid obligations (esp in the phrase do a flit)
  4. See moonlight flit

c.1200, flutten “convey, move, take, carry away, go away,” perhaps from Old Norse flytja “to remove, bring.”

Theire desire … is to goe to theire newe masters eyther on a Tewsday, or on a Thursday; for … they say Munday flitte, Neaver sitte. [Henry Best, farming & account book, 1641]

Related: Flitted; flitting. As a noun, from 1835.

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