as the crow flies


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as the crow flies

The measurement of distance in a straight line. (From the notion that crows always fly in a straight line.) From here to the office, it's about 20 miles as the crow flies, but it's more like 30 miles by car since you have to wind around the mountain.
See also: crow, flies
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

as the crow flies

In a straight line, by the shortest route, as in It's only a mile as the crow flies, but about three miles by this mountain road. This idiom is based on the fact that crows, very intelligent birds, fly straight to the nearest food supply. [Late 1700s]
See also: crow, flies
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

as the crow flies

If one place is a particular distance from another as the crow flies, the two places are that distance apart if you measure them in a straight line. I live at Mesa, Washington, about 10 miles as the crow flies from Hanford. This mountainous area has always been remote, although it is not far from Tehran as the crow flies. Note: People used to think that crows always travelled to their destination by the most direct route possible. `Make a beeline' is based on a similar idea.
See also: crow, flies
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

as the crow flies

used to refer to a shorter distance in a straight line across country rather than the distance as measured along a more circuitous road.
See also: crow, flies
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

as the ˈcrow flies

(informal) (of a distance) measured in a straight line: From here to the village it’s five miles as the crow flies, but it’s a lot further by road.
See also: crow, flies
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

as the crow flies

In a straight line.
See also: crow, flies
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

as the crow flies

By the most direct or shortest route. Since crows normally fly straight to their food supply, this simile came into use as the shortest distance between two points. It originated in the late eighteenth century or even earlier.
See also: crow, flies
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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