I. wing 1 S2 W2 /wɪŋ/ BrE AmE noun [countable]
1 . BIRD/INSECT
a) one of the parts of a bird’s or insect’s body that it uses for flying:
a butterfly with beautiful markings on its wings
The pheasant flapped its wings vigorously.
b) the meat on the wing bone of a chicken, duck etc, eaten as food:
spicy chicken wings
PLANE one of the large flat parts that stick out from the side of a plane and help to keep it in the air
3 . BUILDING one of the parts of a large building, especially one that sticks out from the main part
north/east etc wing
the east wing of the palace
She works in the hospital’s maternity wing.
4 . POLITICS a group of people within a political party or other organization who have a particular opinion or aim:
the moderate wing of the Republican Party
⇨ ↑ left-wing , ↑ right-wing
5 . SPORT
a) a ↑ winger
b) the far left or right part of a sports field
6 . CAR British English the part of a car that is above a wheel SYN fender American English
7 . take somebody under your wing to help and protect someone who is younger or less experienced than you are
8 . (waiting/lurking) in the wings ready to do something or be used when the time is right:
Several junior managers are waiting in the wings for promotion.
9 . THEATRE the wings [plural] the parts at each side of a stage where actors are hidden from people who are watching the play
10 . on a wing and a prayer if you do something on a wing and a prayer, you do not have much chance of succeeding
11 . be on the wing literary if a bird is on the wing, it is flying
12 . take wing literary to fly away
13 . get your wings to pass the examinations you need to become a pilot ⇨ clip sb’s wings at ↑ clip 2 (6), ⇨ spread your wings at ↑ spread 1 (10)
• • •
▪ flap its wings (=move them)
The ducks woke up and flapped their wings.
▪ beat its wings (=move them in a regular way while flying)
The female beats her wings as fast as 500 times a second.
▪ flutter its wings (=move them quickly)
I heard some birds fluttering their wings outside the window.
▪ spread/open its wings
The dragon spread its wings and gave an experimental flap.
▪ stretch its wings (=open them completely)
The cage was so small the birds could not even stretch their wings.
▪ fold its wings
Gannets fold their wings and plummet like an arrow into the sea to catch their prey.
▪ wings flap
Dusky wings flapped overhead.
▪ wings beat
Their great wings beat slowly.
The eagle descended on outstretched wings.
II. wing 2 BrE AmE verb
1 . [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] literary to fly somewhere:
a flock of geese winging down the coast
wing its/their way to/across etc something
planes winging their way to exotic destinations
2 . wing its/their way to go or be sent somewhere very quickly
wing its/their way to
A bottle of champagne will soon be winging its way to 10 lucky winners.
3 . wing it spoken to do something without planning or preparing it:
We’ll just have to wing it.
III. wing ‧ er /ˈwɪŋə $ -ər/ BrE AmE ( also wing ) noun [countable]
someone who plays in the far left or far right of the field in games such as football