by the seat of (one's) pants

(redirected from by the seat of his pants)

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 one's pants

Fig. by sheer luck and use of intuition. (*Typically: fly ~; make it ~.) I got through school by the seat of my pants. Pilots who are in fog and using only instruments are flying by the seat of their 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

by the seat of your pants

by instinct rather than logic or knowledge. informal
This expression was first used by pilots in the mid 20th century, in the form fly by the seat of your pants , meaning ‘fly a plane by relying on human judgement rather than navigational instruments’.
1977 Martin Walker National Front Mussolini had governed by the seat of his pants, guided in part by his early Socialism, in part by his…bombastic nationalism.
See also: by, of, pant, seat

(fly) by the seat of your ˈpants

act without careful thought and without making a plan in advance, hoping that you will be lucky and successful: He made careful plans and then found that everything had changed at the last minute, so in the end he had to fly by the seat of his pants.This idiom was first used by pilots to describe flying by using the way the plane felt as a guide to its condition. The seat of your pants is the part of your trousers/pants that you sit on.
See also: by, of, pant, seat

by the seat of (one's) pants

Informal
1. In a manner based on intuition and experience rather than method: He ran the business by the seat of his pants.
2. Without the use of instruments: an inexperienced pilot who had to fly the aircraft by the seat of her pants.
See also: by, of, pant, seat
References in periodicals archive ?
Stafford Heginbotham was one of those club chairmen of which there were many at the time who flew by the seat of his pants.
I was deputy leader of the city council at the time and he was did fly by the seat of his pants when it came to paying the bill for the police and so on.
I was deputy leader of the city council at the time and he did fly by the seat of his pants when it came to paying the bill for the police and so on.
But if he wants to reassure English football he is not another foreign owner flying by the seat of his pants, he needs to make sure his wallet is in the right place too.
Former trainer Mark Collier, for whom Gregory also rode, said: "Bruce flew fairly well by the seat of his pants, and was a popular character with everybody who knew him.
A STUDENT will soon be flying by the seat of his pants in a 1940s original biplane.
Set in the fastpaced, cut-throat world of horse racing, the story is centred around Aidan Doherty, a trainer who is down to his last few euro and flying by the seat of his pants.
While some accuse him of governing by the seat of his pants and lacking grit to tame an unruly Congress, businessmen see Mahuad as a heartless technocrat who has forced the country to make harsh sacrifices without ever producing the results he promised.
MARK BRADBURNE will be flying by the seat of his pants in Saturday's Martell Grand National, according to his mother
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