fly by

(redirected from flies by)
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

fly by

1. verb 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. verb To pass or go by swiftly, as a 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. verb To make a short, surprise visit. Oh, Paulina only flew by for a few hours, that's why you didn't see her.
4. noun 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.
See also: by, fly
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

fly by

 
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.
See also: by, fly
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

fly by

v.
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.
See also: by, fly
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.
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
"Solitude is an insect growth regulator that controls flies by stopping them where they star--in horse manure," explains Yemma.
Researchers have exerted a little mind control over fruit flies by installing genetic "remote controls" within the insects' brains.
Flies were identified on the basis of morphologic characteristics visually or under binocular lenses for the smaller flies by an experienced entomologist.
Geneticist Ulrike Heberlein of the University of California, San Francisco and her colleagues isolated the alcohol-sensitive flies by using a device they call an inebriometer.