seat of the pants, by the

by the seat of (one's) pants

Without a clear plan or direction. Often used in the phrase "fly by the seat of (one's) pants." I know my parents think that I'm just flying by the seat of my pants ever since I dropped out of college, but I just signed with a record label and am launching my singing career!
See also: by, of, pant, seat

by the seat of the pants

Based on intuition or improvisation, without a clear plan or direction. Used especially in the phrase "fly by the seat of the pants." I know my parents think that I'm flying by the seat of the pants ever since I dropped out of college, but I just signed with a record label and am launching my singing career! After he said he wanted to build a wall through the middle of our back yard, it became clear that the architect was just flying by the seat of the pants.
See also: by, of, pant, seat

seat of the pants, by the

Using intuition and improvisation rather than method or experience, as in He ran the business by the seat of his pants. This expression was invented by World War II fliers, who used it to describe flying when instruments were not working or weather interfered with visibility. It was transferred to broader use soon after the war.
See also: by, of, seat