flew Look up flew at Dictionary.com
past tense of fly (v.1).
flex (v.) Look up flex at Dictionary.com
1520s, "to bend," usually of muscles, probably a back-formation from flexible. Related: Flexed; flexing.
flexibility (n.) Look up flexibility at Dictionary.com
1610s, of physical things, from French flexibilité (in Old French, "weakness, vacillation") or directly from Late Latin flexibilitatem (nominative flexibilitas), from Latin flexibilis "pliant, yielding" (see flexible). Of immaterial things from 1783.
flexible (adj.) Look up flexible at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "capable of being bent; mentally or spiritually pliant," from Middle French flexible or directly from Latin flexibilis "that may be bent, pliant, flexible, yielding;" figuratively "tractable, inconstant," from flex-, past participle stem of flectere "to bend," which is of uncertain origin. Flexile (1630s) and flexive (1620s) have become rare. Related: Flexibly. Coles' dictionary (1717) has flexiloquent "speaking words of doubtful or double meaning."
flexion (n.) Look up flexion at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "bent part," also, in grammar, "modification of part of a word," from Latin flexionem (nominative flexio) "a bending, swaying; bend, turn, curve," noun of action from past participle stem of flectere "to bend" (see flexible). Flection (18c.) is more recent, less etymological, but said to be more common in modern English, perhaps by influence of affection, direction, where the -ct- is in the Latin word. According to some modern dictionaries, flexion is "confined to anatomical contexts." Related: Flexional; flectional.
flexography (n.) Look up flexography at Dictionary.com
type of rotary printing technique, 1952, from comb. form of flexible (in reference to the plate used) + -graphy in the literal sense.
flexor (n.) Look up flexor at Dictionary.com
1610s, of muscles, Modern Latin, agent noun from stem of Latin flectere "to bend" (see flexible). Alternative form flector attested from 1660s (see flexion).
flextime (n.) Look up flextime at Dictionary.com
also short for flexitime, 1972, translating German Gleitzeit "sliding time." See flex + time (n.).
flexuous (adj.) Look up flexuous at Dictionary.com
"full of bends or curves, winding, sinuous," c.1600, from Latin flexuosus, from flexus (n.) "a bending," from flectere "to bend" (see flexible). From 1620s as "undulating."
flexure (n.) Look up flexure at Dictionary.com
1590s, "action of flexing or bending," from Latin flextura, from flectere "to bend" (see flexible). From 1620s as "flexed or bent condition; direction in which something is bent." Picked up in mathematics (1670s), geology (1833).
flibbertigibbet (n.) Look up flibbertigibbet at Dictionary.com
1540s, "chattering gossip, flighty woman," probably a nonsense word meant to sound like fast talking; as the name of a devil or fiend it dates from c.1600 (together with Frateretto, Hoberdidance, Tocobatto). OED lists 15 spellings and thinks flibbergib is the original.
flick (n.) Look up flick at Dictionary.com
mid-15c., "light blow or stroke," probably imitative of a light blow with a whip. Earliest recorded use is in phrase not worth a flykke "useless." Meaning "quick turn of the wrist" is from 1897 in sports. As slang for "film," it is first attested 1926, a back-formation from flicker (v.), from their flickering appearance.
flick (v.) Look up flick at Dictionary.com
1816, "to throw off with a jerk," from flick (n.). Meaning "strike lightly with a quick jerk" is from 1838. Related: Flicked; flicking.
flicker (n.1) Look up flicker at Dictionary.com
1849, "wavering, unsteady light or flame;" 1857 as "a flickering," from flicker (v.).
flicker (v.) Look up flicker at Dictionary.com
Old English flicorian "to flutter, flap quickly and lightly, move the wings," originally of birds. Onomatopoeic and suggestive of quick motion. Sense of "shine with a wavering light" is c.1600, but not common till 19c. Related: Flickered; flickering.
flicker (n.2) Look up flicker at Dictionary.com
type of North American woodpecker, 1808, American English, said to be echoic of bird's note, or from black spots on plumage of the underparts that seem to flicker as it flits from tree to tree.
flier (n.) Look up flier at Dictionary.com
see flyer.
flight (n.1) Look up flight at Dictionary.com
"act of flying," Old English flyht "a flying, act or power of flying," from Proto-Germanic *flukhtiz (cognates: Dutch vlucht "flight of birds," Old Norse flugr, Old High German flug, German Flug "flight"), from Proto-Germanic *flug-ti-, from PIE *pluk-, from root *pleu- "to flow" (see fly (v.1)).

Spelling altered late 14c. from Middle English fliht (see fight (v.)). Sense of "swift motion" is from mid-13c.. Meaning "an instance of flight" is 1785, originally of ballooning. Sense of "a number of things passing through the air together" is from mid-13c. Meaning "series of stairs between landings" is from 1703. Figuratively, "an excursion" of fancy, imagination, etc., from 1660s. Flight-path is from 1908; flight-test (v.) from 1919; flight-simulator from 1947 (originally in rocketry); flight-attendant from 1946.
flight (n.2) Look up flight at Dictionary.com
"act of fleeing," c.1200, flihht, not found in Old English, but presumed to have existed and cognate with Old Saxon fluht, Old Frisian flecht "act of fleeing," Dutch vlucht, Old High German fluht, German Flucht, Old Norse flotti, Gothic þlauhs, from Proto-Germanic *flug-ti- (see flight (n.1)). To put (someone or something) to flight "rout, defeat" is from late 14c., the earlier verb form do o' flight (early 13c.).
flightless (adj.) Look up flightless at Dictionary.com
"incapable of flying," 1846, from flight (n.1) + -less. Related: Flightlessly; flightlessness.
flighty (adj.) Look up flighty at Dictionary.com
1550s, "swift," from flight (n.1) + -y (2). Sense of "fickle or frivolous" is from 1768, perhaps from notion of "given to 'flights' of imagination." Related: Flightiness.
flim-flam (n.) Look up flim-flam at Dictionary.com
also flimflam, 1530s, a contemptuous echoic construction, perhaps connected to some unrecorded dialectal word from Scandinavian (compare Old Norse flim "a lampoon"). From 1650s as a verb. Related: Flim-flammer.
flimsy (adj.) Look up flimsy at Dictionary.com
1702, of unknown origin, perhaps a metathesis of film (n.) "gauzy covering" + -y (2). Figuratively (of arguments, etc.) from 1750s. Related: Flimsily; flimsiness.
flinch (v.) Look up flinch at Dictionary.com
1570s, apparently a nasalized form of obsolete Middle English flecche "to bend, flinch," which probably is from Old French flechir "to bend" (Modern French fléchir), also flechier "to bend, turn aside, flinch," which probably are from Frankish *hlankjan or some other Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *hlinc- (cognates: Middle High German linken, German lenken "to bend, turn, lead"), from PIE root *kleng- "to bend, turn" (see link (n.)). There were nasalized form of the word in Old French as well (flenchir "to bend; give ground, retreat"). Related: Flinched; flinching. As a noun, "the action of flinching," from 1817.
flinders (n.) Look up flinders at Dictionary.com
"pieces, fragments, splinters," mid-15c., Scottish flendris, probably related to Norwegian flindra "chip, splinter," or Dutch flenter "fragment;" ultimately from the same PIE root that produced flint.
fling (v.) Look up fling at Dictionary.com
c.1300, "to dash, run, rush," probably from or related to Old Norse flengja "to flog," of uncertain origin, perhaps from Proto-Germanic *flang- (cognates: Old Swedish flenga "strike," Danish flænge "slash, gash"), from a nasalized variant of PIE *plak- (2) "to strike" (see plague (n.)). Meaning "to throw, cast, hurl" is from mid-14c. An obsolete word for "streetwalker, harlot" was fling-stink (1670s). Related: Flung; flinging, but in Middle English with past tense flang, past participle flungen.
fling (n.) Look up fling at Dictionary.com
early 14c., "attempt, attack," (in phrase make a fling), from fling (v.). Hence have a fling at, etc. "make a try." From 1560s as "a wild dash, an excited kicking up." Sense of "period of indulgence on the eve of responsibilities" first attested 1827. Meaning "vigorous dance" (associated with the Scottish Highlands) is from 1804.
flint (n.) Look up flint at Dictionary.com
Old English flint "flint; a type of rock noted for hardness and for giving off sparks when struck," common Germanic (cognates Middle Dutch vlint, Old High German flins, Danish flint), from PIE *splind- "to split, cleave," from root *(s)plei- "to splice, split" (cognates: Greek plinthos "brick, tile," Old Irish slind "brick"), perhaps a variant of *spel- (1) "to split, break off." Transferred senses (hardness, etc.) were in Old English.
flint-lock (n.) Look up flint-lock at Dictionary.com
also flintlock, 1680s as a type of gunlock in which fire is produced by a flint striking the hammer, from flint + lock (n.1).
flintstone (n.) Look up flintstone at Dictionary.com
"hard silicious stone, flint," early 14c., from flint + stone (n.).
flinty (adj.) Look up flinty at Dictionary.com
1530s, "hard-hearted;" 1540s, "hard, impenetrable as flint," from flint + -y (2). Literal sense of "resembling flint" is from 1640s. Related: Flintily; flintiness.
flip (v.) Look up flip at Dictionary.com
1590s "to fillip, to toss with the thumb," imitative, or perhaps a thinned form of flap, or else a contraction of fillip (q.v.), which also is held to be imitative. Meaning "toss as though with the thumb" is from 1610s. Sense of "get excited" is first recorded 1950; flip (one's) lid "lose one's head, go wild" is from 1950. Meaning "to flip a coin" (to decide something) is by 1879. As a noun by 1690s. Related: Flipped. Flipping (adj.) as euphemism for fucking is British slang first recorded 1911 in D.H. Lawrence. Flip side (of a gramophone record) is by 1949.
flip (n.2) Look up flip at Dictionary.com
sailors' hot drink usually containing beer, brandy and sugar, 1690s, from flip (v.); so called from notion of it being "whipped up" or beaten.
flip (adj.) Look up flip at Dictionary.com
"talkative and disrespectfully smart," see flippant.
flip (n.1) Look up flip at Dictionary.com
1690s, "a flick, a snap;" see flip (v.). In reference to an overturning of the body, probably short for flip-flap (see flip-flop) "somersault in which the performer throws himself over on hands and feet alternately," 1670s, originally a move in (male) dancing.
flip-flop (n.) Look up flip-flop at Dictionary.com
also flip flop, "plastic thong beach sandal," by 1970, imitative of the sound of walking in them. Flip-flap had been used in various senses, mostly echoic or imitative of a kind of loose flapping movement, since 1520s:
Flip-flaps, a peculiar rollicking dance indulged in by costermongers, better described as the double shuffle; originally a kind of somersault. [Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1864]
Flip-flop in the general sense of "complete reversal of direction" dates from 1900; it began to be used in electronics in the 1930s in reference to switching circuits that alternate between two states. As a verb by 1897. Flop (n.) in the sense "a turn-round, especially in politics" is from 1880.
flip-top (adj.) Look up flip-top at Dictionary.com
1955, of product packaging, from flip (v.) + top (n.1).
flippancy (n.) Look up flippancy at Dictionary.com
1746, from flippant + -cy.
flippant (adj.) Look up flippant at Dictionary.com
c.1600, "talkative, nimble in talk;" 1670s, "displaying unbecoming levity," apparently an extended form of flip (v.). The ending is perhaps modeled on other adjectives in -ant or a relic of the Middle English present participle ending -inde. Shortened form flip is attested from 1847. Related: Flippantly.
flipper (n.) Look up flipper at Dictionary.com
limb used to swim with, 1822, agent noun from flip (v.). Sense of "rubber fin for underwater swimming" is from 1945. Slang meaning "the hand" dates from 1836. Related: Flippers.
flirt (v.) Look up flirt at Dictionary.com
1550s, "to turn up one's nose, sneer at;" later "to rap or flick, as with the fingers" (1560s); "throw with a sudden movement," also "move in short, quick flights" (1580s). Perhaps imitative (compare flip (v.), also East Frisian flirt "a flick or light blow," flirtje "a giddy girl," which also might have fed into the English word), but perhaps rather from or influenced by flit (v.). Related: Flirted; flirting.

The main modern verbal sense of "play at courtship" (1777) probably developed from the noun (see flirt (n.)) but also could have grown naturally from the 16c. meaning "to flit inconstantly from object to object." To flirt a fan (1660s) was to snap it open or closed with a brisk jerk and was long considered part of the coquette's arsenal, which might have contributed to the sense shift. Or the word could have been influenced from French, where Old French fleureter meant "talk sweet nonsense," also "to touch a thing in passing," diminutive of fleur "flower" (n.) and metaphoric of bees skimming from flower to flower. French flirter "to flirt" is a 19c. borrowing from English.
flirt (n.) Look up flirt at Dictionary.com
1540s, "joke, jest, stroke of wit, contemptuous remark," from flirt (v.). By 1560s as "a pert young hussey" [Johnson], and Shakespeare has flirt-gill (i.e. Jill) "a woman of light or loose behavior" (Fletcher formalizes it as flirt-gillian), while flirtgig was a 17c. Yorkshire dialect word for "a giddy, flighty girl." One of the many fl- words suggesting loose, flapping motion and connecting the notions of flightiness and licentiousness. Compare English dialect and Scottish flisk "to fly about nimbly, skip, caper" (1590s); source of Scott's fliskmahoy "girl giddy and full of herself." The meaning "person who plays at courtship" is from 1732 (as the name of female characters in plays at least since 1689 (Aphra Behn's "The Widow Ranter")). Also in early use sometimes "person one flirts with," though by 1862 this was being called a flirtee.
flirtation (n.) Look up flirtation at Dictionary.com
"amorous trifling; giddy behavior," 1718, noun of action from flirt (v.) as though Latin.
flirtatious (adj.) Look up flirtatious at Dictionary.com
1834, from flirtation + -ous. Related: Flirtatiously; flirtatiousness.
flirty (adj.) Look up flirty at Dictionary.com
1840, from flirt (v.) + -y (2). Related: Flirtiness.
flit (v.) Look up flit at Dictionary.com
c.1200, flitten, flytten, flutten "convey, move (a thing) from one place to another, take, carry away," also intransitive, "go away, move, migrate," from Old Norse flytja "to remove, bring," from Proto-Germanic *flutjan- "to float," from extended form of PIE *pleu- "to flow" (see pluvial). Intransitive sense "move lightly and swiftly" is from early 15c.; from c.1500 as "remove from one habitation to another" (originally Northern English and Scottish)
Theire desire ... is to goe to theire newe masters eyther on a Tewsday, or on a Thursday; for ... they say Munday flitte, Neaver sitte. [Henry Best, farming & account book, 1641]
Related: Flitted; flitting. As a noun, "a flitting, a removal," from 1835.
flitch (n.) Look up flitch at Dictionary.com
"side of bacon," Middle English flicche (c.1200), "side of a slaughtered animal," especially the salted and cured side of a hog, from Old English flicce "flitch of bacon, ham," from Proto-Germanic *flekkja (cognates: Old Norse flikki, Middle Low German vlicke "piece of flesh"). Not immediately from flesh (n.), but perhaps from the same PIE root, *pleik- "to tear" (see flay). The Flitch of Dunmow was presented every year at Little Dunmow, in Essex, to any married couple who could prove they had lived together without quarreling for a year and a day, a custom mentioned in early references as dating to mid-13c., revived 19c.
flite (v.) Look up flite at Dictionary.com
"to scold," c.1500, earlier "to content with words, chide, wrangle," from Old English flitan, cognate with Old High German flizzan "to strive." Related: Flited; fliting.
flitter (v.) Look up flitter at Dictionary.com
"fly with back-and-forth motion," 1540s, from flit with frequentative suffix. Flitter-mouse (1540s) is occasionally used in English, in imitation of German fledermaus "bat," from Old High German fledaron "to bat, to flutter." Related: Flittered; flittering. As a noun, from 1892.
flitty (adj.) Look up flitty at Dictionary.com
1640s, from flit (n.) + -y (2). Related: Flittiness.