on the fly


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

on the fly

[done] while something or someone is operating or moving. I'll try to capture the data on the fly. Please try to buy some aspirin somewhere on the fly today.
See also: fly

on the fly

in a hurry You can't make this dinner on the fly, you need a whole day.
Related vocabulary: wing it
See also: fly

on the fly

  (American)
if someone does something on the fly, they do it quickly and without thinking carefully before they do it She was the sort of person who would make decisions on the fly rather than allowing herself time to think.
See also: fly

on the fly

In a hurry, on the run, as in I picked up some groceries on the fly. The transfer of this expression, which literally means "in midair or in flight," dates from the mid-1800s.
See also: fly

on the fly

mod. while something or someone is operating or moving. I’ll try to capture the data on the fly.
See also: fly

on the fly

1. In a hurry or between pressing activities: took lunch on the fly.
2. While moving: The outfielder caught the ball on the fly.
3. In the air; in flight: The ball carried 500 feet on the fly.
4. While activity is ongoing: A coach can change players on the fly in hockey. This computer program compiles on the fly when a script is executed.
See also: fly