Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A number of warships operating together under one command.
  • n. A group of vessels or vehicles, such as taxicabs or fishing boats, owned or operated as a unit.
  • adj. Moving swiftly; rapid or nimble. See Synonyms at fast1.
  • adj. Fleeting; evanescent.
  • intransitive v. To move or pass swiftly.
  • intransitive v. To fade out; vanish.
  • intransitive v. Archaic To flow.
  • intransitive v. Obsolete To drift.
  • transitive v. To cause (time) to pass quickly.
  • transitive v. Nautical To alter the position of (tackle or rope, for example).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To float.
  • v. To pass over rapidly; to skim the surface of
  • v. To hasten over; to cause to pass away lightly, or in mirth and joy
  • v. To move up a rope, so as to haul to more advantage; especially to draw apart the blocks of a tackle.
  • v. To shift the position of dead-eyes when the shrouds are become too long.
  • v. To cause to slip down the barrel of a capstan or windlass, as a rope or chain.
  • v. To take the cream from; to skim.
  • adj. Swift in motion; moving with velocity; light and quick in going from place to place; nimble; fast.
  • adj. Light; superficially thin; not penetrating deep, as soil.
  • n. A group of vessels or vehicles.
  • n. A number of vessels in company, especially war vessels; also, the collective naval force of a country, etc.
  • n. Any command of vessels exceeding a squadron in size, or a rear-admiral's command, composed of five sail-of-the-line, with any number of smaller vessels.
  • n. A flood; a creek or inlet, a bay or estuary, a river subject to the tide.
  • n. A location, as on a navigable river, where barges are secured.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Swift in motion; moving with velocity; light and quick in going from place to place; nimble.
  • adj. Light; superficially thin; not penetrating deep, as soil.
  • n. A number of vessels in company, especially war vessels; also, the collective naval force of a country, etc.
  • n. A flood; a creek or inlet; a bay or estuary; a river; -- obsolete, except as a place name, -- as Fleet Street in London.
  • n. A former prison in London, which originally stood near a stream, the Fleet (now filled up).
  • intransitive v. To sail; to float.
  • intransitive v. To fly swiftly; to pass over quickly; to hasten; to flit as a light substance.
  • intransitive v. To slip on the whelps or the barrel of a capstan or windlass; -- said of a cable or hawser.
  • intransitive v. To move or change in position; -- said of persons.
  • transitive v. To pass over rapidly; to skin the surface of.
  • transitive v. To hasten over; to cause to pass away lighty, or in mirth and joy.
  • transitive v.
  • transitive v. To draw apart the blocks of; -- said of a tackle.
  • transitive v. To cause to slip down the barrel of a capstan or windlass, as a rope or chain.
  • transitive v. To move or change in position; used only in special phrases.
  • transitive v. To take the cream from; to skim.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To float.
  • To swim.
  • To sail; navigate.
  • To flow; run, as water; flow away.
  • To overflow; abound.
  • To gutter, as a candle.
  • To fly swiftly; flit, as a light substance; pass away quickly.
  • Nautical, to change place: said of men at work: as, to fleet forward or aft in a boat.
  • To fly swiftly over; skim over the surface of: as, a ship that fleets the gulf.
  • To cause to pass swiftly or lightly.
  • Nautical, to change the position of: as, to fleet a tackle (to change its position after the blocks are drawn together so as to use it again); to fleet the men aft (to order men to move further aft).
  • Swift of motion; moving or able to move with rapidity; rapid.
  • To skim, as cream from milk.
  • Nautical, to skim up fresh water from the surface of (the sea), as practised at the mouth of the Rhone, of the Nile, etc.
  • Light; superficially fruitful; thin; not penetrating deep, as soil.
  • In a manner so as to affect only the surface; superficially.
  • Skimmed; skim: applied to skim-milk or to cheese made from it: as, fleet milk, fleet cheese.
  • n. A number of ships or other vessels, in company, under the same command, or employed in the same service, particularly in war or in fishing: as, a fleet of men-of-war, or of war-canoes; the fishing-fleet on the Banks; the fleet of a steamship company.
  • n. Specifically, a number of vessels of war organized for offense or defense under one commander, with subordinate commanders of single vessels and sometimes of squadrons; a naval armament.
  • n. In fishing, a single line of 100 hooks: so called when the bultow was introduced in Newfoundland (1846).
  • n. An arm of the sea; an inlet; a river or creek: now used only as an element in place-names: as, Northfleet, Southfleet, Fleetditch.
  • n. A dialectal (Scotch) variant of flute.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. group of motor vehicles operating together under the same ownership
  • adj. moving very fast
  • n. a group of warships organized as a tactical unit
  • v. move along rapidly and lightly; skim or dart
  • v. disappear gradually
  • n. group of aircraft operating together under the same ownership
  • n. a group of steamships operating together under the same ownership

Etymologies

Middle English flete, from Old English flēot, from flēotan, to float; see pleu- in Indo-European roots.
Probably from Old Norse fljōtr. V., from Middle English fleten, to drift, float, from Old English flēotan; see pleu- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English flet, flete, from Old English flēot ("ship") (Wiktionary)
From Middle English flet, flete, from Old English flēot ("river, estuary") (Wiktionary)
From Middle English fleten ("float"), from Old English flēotan ("float") (Wiktionary)

Examples

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