From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Webster's Dictionary [1]

(1): ( v. i.) To move through the air or before the wind; esp., to pass or be driven rapidly through the air by any impulse.

(2): ( v. i.) To float, wave, or rise in the air, as sparks or a flag.

(3): ( v. i.) To move or pass swiftly; to hasten away; to circulate rapidly; as, a ship flies on the deep; a top flies around; rumor flies.

(4): ( v. i.) To move in or pass thorugh the air with wings, as a bird.

(5): ( v. i.) To run from danger; to attempt to escape; to flee; as, an enemy or a coward flies. See Note under Flee.

(6): ( v. i.) To move suddenly, or with violence; to do an act suddenly or swiftly; - usually with a qualifying word; as, a door flies open; a bomb flies apart.

(7): ( v. t.) To cause to fly or to float in the air, as a bird, a kite, a flag, etc.

(8): ( v. t.) To fly or flee from; to shun; to avoid.

(9): ( v. t.) To hunt with a hawk.

(10): ( v. i.) Any winged insect; esp., one with transparent wings; as, the Spanish fly; firefly; gall fly; dragon fly.

(11): ( v. i.) Any dipterous insect; as, the house fly; flesh fly; black fly. See Diptera, and Illust. in Append.

(12): ( v. i.) A hook dressed in imitation of a fly, - used for fishing.

(13): ( v. i.) A familiar spirit; a witch's attendant.

(14): ( v. i.) A parasite.

(15): ( v. i.) A kind of light carriage for rapid transit, plying for hire and usually drawn by one horse.

(16): ( v. i.) The length of an extended flag from its staff; sometimes, the length from the "union" to the extreme end.

(17): ( v. i.) The part of a vane pointing the direction from which the wind blows.

(18): ( v. i.) That part of a compass on which the points are marked; the compass card.

(19): ( v. i.) Two or more vanes set on a revolving axis, to act as a fanner, or to equalize or impede the motion of machinery by the resistance of the air, as in the striking part of a clock.

(20): ( v. i.) A heavy wheel, or cross arms with weights at the ends on a revolving axis, to regulate or equalize the motion of machinery by means of its inertia, where the power communicated, or the resistance to be overcome, is variable, as in the steam engine or the coining press. See Fly wheel (below).

(21): ( v. i.) The piece hinged to the needle, which holds the engaged loop in position while the needle is penetrating another loop; a latch.

(22): ( v. i.) The pair of arms revolving around the bobbin, in a spinning wheel or spinning frame, to twist the yarn.

(23): ( v. i.) A shuttle driven through the shed by a blow or jerk.

(24): ( v. i.) Formerly, the person who took the printed sheets from the press.

(25): ( v. i.) A vibrating frame with fingers, attached to a power to a power printing press for doing the same work.

(26): ( v. i.) One of the upper screens of a stage in a theater.

(27): ( v. i.) The fore flap of a bootee; also, a lap on trousers, overcoats, etc., to conceal a row of buttons.

(28): ( v. i.) A batted ball that flies to a considerable distance, usually high in the air; also, the flight of a ball so struck; as, it was caught on the fly.

(29): ( a.) Knowing; wide awake; fully understanding another's meaning.

(30): ( n.) Waste cotton.

(31): ( v. t.) To manage (an aircraft) in flight; as, to fly an aeroplane.

(32): ( v. i.) The outer canvas of a tent with double top, usually drawn over the ridgepole, but so extended as to touch the roof of the tent at no other place.

King James Dictionary [2]


1. To move through air by the aid of wings, as fowls. 2. To pass or move in air, by the force of wind or other impulse as, clouds and vapors fly before the wind. A ball flies from a cannon, an arrow from a bow. 3. To rise in air, as light substances, by means of a current of air or by having less specific gravity than air, as smoke.

Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward.  Job 5 .

4. To move or pass with velocity or celerity, either on land or water. He flew to the relief of his distressed friend. The ship flies upon the main. 5. To move rapidly, in any manner as, a top flies about. 6. To pass away to depart with the idea of haste, swiftness or escape. The bird has flown. 7. To pass rapidly, as time. Swift fly the fleeting hours. 8. To part suddenly or with violence to burst, as a bottle. 9. To spring by an elastic force. 10. To pass swiftly, as rumor or report. 11. To flee to run away to attempt to escape to escape.

I'll fly from shepherds, flocks, and flowery plains.

12. To flutter to vibrate or play as a flag in the wind.

To fly at, to spring towards to rush on to fall on suddenly. A hen flies at a dog or cat a dog flies at a man.

1. To fly in the face, to insult. 2. To assail to resist to set at defiance to oppose with violence to act in direct opposition. 1. To fly off, to separate or depart suddenly. 2. To revolt.

To fly open, to open suddenly or with violence as, the doors flew open.

1. To fly out, to rush out also, to burst into a passion. 2. To break out into license. 3. To start or issue with violence from any direction. 1. To let fly, to discharge to throw or drive with violence as, to let fly a shower of darts. 2. In seamanship, to let go suddenly. Let fly the sheets.

FLY, This is used for flee, and from is understood after fly, so that it can hardly be called a transitive verb.

1. To shun to avoid to decline as, to fly the sight of one we hate. That is, primarily, to flee from

Sleep flies the wretch.

2. To quit by flight. 3. To attack by a bird of prey. Not used. 4. To cause to float in the air.

FLY, n.

1. In zoology, a winged insect of various species, whose distinguishing characteristic is that the wings are transparent. By this flies are distinguished from beetles, butterflies, grasshoppers, &c. Of flies, some have two wings and others four.

In common language, fly is the house fly, of the genus Musca.

2. In mechanics, a cross with leaden weights at the ends, or a heavy wheel at right angles with the axis of a windlass, jack or the like. The use of this is, to regulate and equalize the motion in all parts of the revolution of the machine. 3. That part of a vane which points and shows which way the wind blows. 4. The extent of an ensign, flag or pendant from the staff to the end that flutters loose in the wind.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [3]

(See Egypt and (See Exodus on the plague of flies.  Psalms 78:45;  Psalms 105:31. 'Αrob , Septuagint translated "dog flies"; their bites severely inflame the eyelids. However, an old Egyptian word retained in Coptic Abeb , "a beetle," seems related. The sun god in Egypt was represented in the form of a beetle; thus their sin would be made their instrument of punishment. But the "flies," whether gnats, mosquitoes, or dog flies, literally "devour" ( Psalms 78:45), conveying the well-known Ophthalmia from one to another, and by the larvae entering beneath the skin and intestines, and generating deadly disease. Found in swarms about the arms and canals of the Nile. Figure for troublesome and numerous foes, as Pharaoh Necho's hosts who slew king Josiah at Megiddo ( 2 Kings 23:29-30).  Isaiah 7:18, "the Lord shall hiss for (i.e. summon, as a beemaster whistles for bees) the fly ( Zibub ) in the rivers of Egypt."

 Ecclesiastes 10:1, "dead flies ( Zibubim ) cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor," i.e. "flies" small in appearance, answer to "a little folly" (sin); "the ointment" of the perfumer answers to the man's "repudiation for wisdom and honor" ( Ecclesiastes 7:1;  Genesis 34:30). The more delicate the perfume, the more easily a small corruption, as a dead fly, can spoil it; so the more excellent a character, the greater pity it is to allow a small inconsistency to mar it; e.g., David ( 2 Samuel 12:14), Solomon (1 Kings 11), Jehoshaphat (2 Chronicles 18;  2 Chronicles 19:2), Josiah ( 2 Chronicles 35:21-22). A little sin, if unchecked, will undermine the whole character ( 1 Corinthians 5:6;  Galatians 5:9). Beelzebub, the parent of sin, is (as the name means) "the prince of flies." The Dthebab of Egypt (Sir G. Wilkinson, Transact. Entom. Soc., 2:183), is like our Cleg in N. of England. It assails camels, and generates a disease which, if neglected, kills them; it attacks man too.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [4]

A genus of insects, of which there are a great many species. Moses declares them and most other insects to be unclean,  Leviticus 11:42 . They abound in Egypt, and are annoying and vexatious in the extreme, attacking the eyelids, etc., in swarms and with the utmost pertinacity. How intolerable a plague of flies may be, is evident from the fact that whole districts in the Levant have been for a time depopulated by them, the inhabitants being unable to stand against their incessant attacks,  Exodus 8:24 . The Philistines and Canaanites adored Beelzebub, the fly-god, probably as a patron to protect them against these tormenting insects.

In  Isaiah 7:18 , the prophet describing the armies of Egypt and Assyria, each under the symbol of one of the prevalent insects in those countries, says, "And it shall come to pass in that day that the Lord shall hiss for the fly that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt;" (or rather, as the same Hebrew word is rendered in  Exodus 16:35 , the fly that is in the borders of the streams of Egypt,)" and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria." It is thought by some that the fly here spoken of is the zimb, or Ethiopian fly, of which Mr. Bruce says, "It is, in size, very little larger than a bee, of a thicker proportion, and has wings which are broader than those of a bee, placed separate, like those of a fly; they are of pure gauze, without color or spot upon them; the head is large. As soon as this plague appears, and their buzzing is heard, all the cattle forsake their food, and run wildly about the plain till they die, worn out with fatigue, fright, and hunger. No remedy remains but to leave the black earth, and hasten down to the sands of the desert; and there they remain while the rains last, this cruel enemy never daring to pursue them farther." The camel is also obliged to fly before these insects; and the elephant and rhinoceros coat themselves with a thick armor of mud.

Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types [5]

 Job 5:7 (a) As the sparks ascend heavenward from the fire, so we should speed our way at once to GOD when trouble comes.

 Psalm 18:10 (a) This figure represents the speed with which GOD will come to the rescue of David when in trouble. (See also  Daniel 9:21;  Isaiah 6:6;  Isaiah 60:8;  Luke 15:20. Some think this passage may refer to the airplane).

 Proverbs 23:5 (a) Here is a very fine picture of the way that our money and other assets disappear. Usually it is a slow disappearance. When the eagle flies away toward Heaven it gets smaller and smaller to our vision until finally it disappears. So sometimes our health and our wealth gradually disappear until we are left hopeless, hapless and helpless.

 Jeremiah 48:40 (a) By this expression the Lord is describing the speed with which He would destroy the country of Moab.

 Ezekiel 13:20 (c) This may represent the wiles of evil women who would and did lure men from GOD's path of righteousness.

 Habakkuk 1:8 (a) This is the way GOD describes the speed of the Chaldeans when they invaded Israel.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [6]

FLY. 1. zebûb ,   Ecclesiastes 10:1 ,   Isaiah 7:18 : also Baal-zebub [wh. see]. 2. ‘arôb ,   Exodus 8:21 etc., the insects of one of the plagues of Egypt, thought by some to have been cockroaches. Flies of many kinds, mosquitoes, ‘sand-files,’ etc., swarm in Palestine and Egypt. In summer any sweet preparation left uncovered is at once defiled by flies falling into it (  Ecclesiastes 10:1 ). Flies carry ophthalmia and infect food with the micro-organisms of other diseases, e.g. cholera, enteric fever, etc. They frequently deposit their eggs in uncleanly wounds and discharging ears, and these eggs develop into maggots. Special flies, in Africa at any rate, carry the trypanosoma , which produce fatal disease in cattle and ‘sleeping sickness’ in man. Mosquitoes, which may have been included in the ‘arôb (the ‘swarms of flies’) in Egypt, are now known to be the carriers of the poison of malaria, the greatest scourge of parts of Palestine.

E. W. G. Masterman.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words [7]

1: Πέτομαι (Strong'S #4072 — Verb — petomai — pet'-om-ahee, pet-ah'-om-ahee, ptah'-om-ahee )

"to fly" (the root of which is seen in pteron and pterux, "a wing," ptilon, "a feather," etc.), is confined to the Apocalypse, 4:7; 8:13; 12:14; 14:6; 19:17. Some mss. have the verb petaomai, a frequentative form.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [8]

 Ecclesiastes 10:1 Isaiah 7:18 Isaiah 7:18

Heb. 'arob, the name given to the insects sent as a plague on the land of Egypt ( Exodus 8:21-31;  Psalm 78:45;  105:31 ). The LXX. render this by a word which means the "dog-fly," the cynomuia. The Jewish commentators regarded the Hebrew word here as connected with the word 'Arab , Which means "mingled;" and they accordingly supposed the plague to consist of a mixed multitude of animals, beasts, reptiles, and insects. But there is no doubt that "the 'Arab " denotes a single definite species. Some interpreters regard it as the Blatta orientalis, the cockroach, a species of beetle. These insects "inflict very painful bites with their jaws; gnaw and destroy clothes, household furniture, leather, and articles of every kind, and either consume or render unavailable all eatables."

Morrish Bible Dictionary [9]

1. arob, the dog-fly. In  Psalm 78:45 , and  Psalm 105:31 , this word is rendered in the A.V. 'divers sorts of flies,' referring to one of the plagues in Egypt, and is translated 'swarms [of flies]' in  Exodus 8:21-31 : so that more than one kind may have been meant.

2. zebub, supposed to be the gad-fly. They fell into the ointment and spoilt it.  Ecclesiastes 10:1 . In the judgements of God in the days of Ahaz He hissed for the fly from the rivers of Egypt.  Isaiah 7:18 . The stings of the flies in the East are very painful, and torment the animals almost to madness. The word zebub is considered to be a part of the word BAAL-ZEBUB,the idol-god of Ekron, 'the lord of the fly,' who it was thought could protect persons from its bite.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [10]

Fly. See Flies .

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [11]

Copyright StatementThese files are public domain. Bibliography InformationMcClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Fly'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

This word occurs in;;;;;; all which passages relate to the plague of flies inflicted upon Pharaoh and his people. Some suppose that the dog-fly is meant. Philo, in his Life of Moses, expressly describes this insect as a biting insidious creature, which comes like a dart, with great noise, and rushing with great impetuosity on the skin, sticks to it most tenaciously. All the ancient translators understand by the original word a mixture of noxious creatures. More modern writers are of opinion that a single species only is intended, and have proposed several different insects. Thus, one of the meanings of the original word is 'to darken,' and Mouffet observes that the name agrees with no kind of flies better than with those black, large, compressed flies, which boldly beset cattle, and not only obtain ichor, as other flies, but also suck out blood from beneath, and occasion great pain. He observes that they have no proboscis, but, instead of it, have double sets of teeth, like wasps, which they infix deeply in the skin; and adds that they, greatly infest the ears of days. Other's have proposed the biatta Orientalis or Ægyptia of Linnaeus, as answering considerably to the characteristics of voracity, intrusion into houses, etc. etc. The miracle involved in the plague of flies consisted, partly at least, in the creature being brought against the Egyptians in so great an abundance during winter. The particular species is, however, at present undetermined.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

(Verb; עוּף , ‛ūph πετάομαι :26 ) "fly down" ( Isaiah 11:14 ); for "flying" ( Isaiah 31:5 ) the American Standard Revised Version has "hovering."