n. & v.
n. 1 a the act or manner of flying through the air (studied swallows' flight). b the swift movement or passage of a projectile etc. through the air (the flight of an arrow). 2 a a journey made through the air or in space. b a timetabled journey made by an airline. c an RAF unit of about six aircraft. 3 a a flock or large body of birds, insects, etc., esp. when migrating. b a migration. 4 (usu. foll. by of) a series, esp. of stairs between floors, or of hurdles across a race track (lives up six flights). 5 an extravagant soaring, a mental or verbal excursion or sally (of wit etc.) (a flight of fancy; a flight of ambition). 6 the trajectory and pace of a ball in games. 7 the distance that a bird, aircraft, or missile can fly. 8 (usu. foll. by of) a volley (a flight of arrows). 9 the tail of a dart. 10 the pursuit of game by a hawk. 11 swift passage (of time).
v.tr. 1 vary the trajectory and pace of (a cricket-ball etc.). 2 provide (an arrow) with feathers. 3 shoot (wildfowl etc.) in flight. flight bag a small, zipped, shoulder bag carried by air travellers. flight control an internal or external system directing the movement of aircraft. flight-deck 1 the deck of an aircraft-carrier used for take-off and landing. 2 the accommodation for the pilot, navigator, etc. in an aircraft. flight-feather a bird's wing or tail feather. flight lieutenant an RAF officer next in rank below squadron leader. flight officer a rank in the WRAF, corresponding to flight lieutenant. flight path the planned course of an aircraft or spacecraft. flight-recorder a device in an aircraft to record technical details during a flight, that may be used in the event of an accident to discover its cause. flight sergeant Mil. an RAF rank next above sergeant. flight-test test (an aircraft, rocket, etc.) during flight. in the first (or top) flight taking a leading place. take (or wing) one's flight fly.
[ OE flyht f. WG: rel to FLY(1) ]