fly by(redirected from a flyby)
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1. To pass (someone or something) by flying. Ethel screamed as a bird flew right by her head and startled her. We all looked up to watch the helicopter flying by.
2. To pass or go by swiftly, as a of period of time. I don't know, we just started chatting, and then I looked up and two hours had flown by! With the way senior year is flying by, we'll be graduates before you know it!
3. To pass (someone or something) at great speed. I needed to ask Tom a question, but he flew by my desk before I could get his attention. Police cars flew by, their sirens blaring.
4. To make a short, surprise visit. Oh, Paulina only flew by for a few hours, that's why you didn't see her.
A flight that travels very close to an intended target, often in outer space. When used as a noun, the phrase is usually written as one word. We'll do a flyby to collect more information on that planet.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. Lit. to soar past, flying. Three jet fighters flew by. A huge hawk flew by, frightening all the smaller birds.
2. Fig. [for time] to go quickly. The hours just flew by, because we were having fun. Time flew by so fast that it was dark before we knew it.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. To pass quickly, as of a moving object or an interval of time: The summer months flew by, leaving us only a few days warm enough for swimming.
2. To visit briefly, often unexpectedly: Some of my old school friends flew by for a short visit last week.
3. To move past in flight: Several geese flew by as we climbed the hill.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.