fleeting

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a fleeting glance

A quick or hasty look. Come on, you only gave this dress a fleeting glance—you might like it if you tried it on.
See also: fleeting, glance
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

fleeting glance

Fig. a quick glance; a very brief look. I had a fleeting glance at the car as it sped by, but I couldn't read the license place number.
See also: fleeting, glance
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
From it issued as strange a sight as Carthoris ever had witnessed, though at the moment he had time to cast but a single fleeting glance at the tall bowmen emerging through the portal behind their long, oval shields; to note their flowing auburn hair; and to realize that the growling things at their side were fierce Barsoomian lions.
At five o'clock in the evening, before that fleeting twilight which binds night to day in tropical zones, Conseil and I were astonished by a curious spectacle.
Can it be possible that a few fleeting years have wrought such a change?"
As they annually tend towards decay, they almost rival in brilliant variety of their gradually changing hues the fleeting shades of the expiring dolphin.
It was formed of Zeena's obstinate silence, of Mattie's sudden look of warning, of the memory of just such fleeting imperceptible signs as those which told him, on certain stainless mornings, that before night there would be rain.
When the Victoria passed, there was some slight show of movement; drums were beaten; but the last learned man still lingering in the place had hardly time to notice the new phenomenon, for our travellers, driven onward by the wind of the desert, resumed the winding course of the river, and, ere long, Timbuctoo was nothing more than one of the fleeting reminiscences of their journey.
In social intercourse he gives you the surface that he wishes the world to accept, and you can only gain a true knowledge of him by inferences from little actions, of which he is unconscious, and from fleeting expressions, which cross his face unknown to him.
"It is maddening, Virginia," said the man, "to be constantly straining every resource of my memory in futile endeavor to catch and hold one fleeting clue to my past.