fly by

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Related to fly-by: fly-by-wire

fly by

1. verb To pass someone by flying. Ethel screamed as a bird flew right by her head and startled her.
2. verb To pass or go by swiftly, usually 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: fly

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: fly

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: fly