American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A light framework covered with cloth, plastic, or paper, designed to be flown in the wind at the end of a long string.
- n. Any of the light sails of a ship that are used only in a light wind.
- n. Any of various predatory birds of the hawk family Accipitridae, having a long, often forked tail and long pointed wings.
- n. A piece of negotiable paper representing a fictitious financial transaction and used temporarily to sustain credit or raise money.
- n. A bank check drawn on insufficient funds to take advantage of the time interval required for collection.
- n. A bank check that has been fraudulently altered to show a larger amount.
- v. To fly like a kite; soar or glide.
- v. To get money or credit with a kite.
- v. To use (a bad check) to sustain credit or raise money.
- v. To increase the amount of (a check) fraudulently.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A diurnal bird of prey of the family Falconidæ and subfamily Milvinæ; a glede. The kites are among the inferior hawks, having a rather weak bill without a tooth, small feet with moderate talons, long pointed wings, and usually long, often forked tail; but there are no diagnostic characters by which the kites can be defined with precision. They prey upon humble quarry, as insects, reptiles, and small birds and mammals. The common kite or glede of Europe is Milvus ictinus, regalis, or vulgaris. a bird 2 feet long, the wing 20 inches, of a brown color above, the feathers with reddish edgings, the under parts mostly rufous; the tail is 15 inches long, forked. Milvus ægyptius is the Arabian kite; M. ater is the black kite of Africa and parts of Europe; M. govinda is the Indian kite; M. isurus, the Anstralian, in which the head is crested. Elanoides forficatus is the beautiful swallow-tailed kite of the United States, glossy black and white, with a long, deeply furcate tail. (See cut under
Elanoides.) Nauclerus riocouri is a corresponding African species. The white-tailed or pearl kite of the United States is Elanus leucurus; and there are several other species of this genus in the warmer parts of the world. The Mississippi kite is Ictinia mississippiensis; and a very similar species, Ictinia plumbea. inhabits South America. In Swainson's system of classification a certain group of hawks which he called Cymindinæwere named kites. The name has been misapplied to various hawks of different genera, as Buteo, Circus, etc. See gledeand hawk, 1.
- n. A sharper.
- n. [Prob. so called from its hovering in the air, like the bird so named.] A light frame, usually of wood and covered with paper, constructed for flying in the air by means of a long cord attached. In western countries the flying of kites is chiefly an amusement of boys; but in Japan, and to a less extent in China, it is a national pastime of adults, often practised in competitive contests, with kites of elaborate construction.
- n. Nautical, one of the highest and lightest sails; one of the small sails that are usually spread in light winds, and furled in a strong breeze.
- n. The brill. [Local, Eng.]
- To go or fly with great rapidity or with the ease of a kite: as, to go kiting about.
- To fly commercial “kites”; raise money or gain the temporary use of money by means of accommodation bills, or by borrowed, illegally certified, or worthless checks.
- n. The belly.
- A dialectal variant of kit for cut.
- n. A variety of tumbler, black, with the inner webs of the primaries red or yellow.
- n. Something thrown out as a suggestion to see ‘how the wind blows’—what the condition of public opinion is on a certain subject, or what conclusions may inferentially be drawn.
- n. In geometry, a deltoid: so called by Sylvester from its resemblance to a spear-kite.
- To fly a bird-shaped kite over a grouse moor: an English sporting-term. The birds, taking this for a hawk, lie close, until the dogs are near.
- n. Any of falconiform birds of prey in the subfamily Elaninae of the family Accipitridae with long wings and weak legs, feeding mostly on carrion and spending long periods soaring.
- n. A lightweight toy or other device carried on the wind and tethered and controlled from the ground by one or more lines.
- n. A tethered object which deflects its position in a medium by obtaining lift and drag in reaction with its relative motion in the medium.
- n. geometry A quadrilateral having two pairs of edges of equal length, the edges of each pair being consecutive.
- n. banking A fraudulent draft, such as a check one drawn on insufficient funds or with altered face value.
- n. astrology A planetary configuration wherein one planet of a grand trine is in opposition to an additional fourth planet.
- n. slang An aircraft, or aeroplane.
- n. sailing, dated A lightweight sail set above the topgallants, such as a studding-sail.
- n. sailing, slang A spinnaker.
- n. US, slang, prison A short letter.
- v. rare, usually with "go" To fly a kite.
- v. To glide in the manner of a kite.
- v. To travel by kite, as when kitesurfing.
- v. To toss or cast.
- v. banking To write a check on an account with insufficient funds, expecting that funds will become available by the time the check clears.
- v. US To cause an increase, especially in costs.
- v. video games To attack and destroy a monster or mob from a distance, without exposing oneself to danger.
- v. nautical, engineering To deflect sideways in the water.
- v. US, slang, prison To send a short letter.
- v. US, slang To steal.
- n. Northern England, Scotland The stomach; belly.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) Any raptorial bird of the subfamily
Milvinæ, of which many species are known. They have long wings, adapted for soaring, and usually a forked tail.
- n. Fig.: One who is rapacious.
- n. A light frame of wood or other material covered with paper or cloth, for flying in the air at the end of a string.
- n. (Naut.) A lofty sail, carried only when the wind is light.
- n. (Geom.) A quadrilateral, one of whose diagonals is an axis of symmetry.
- n. Cant Fictitious commercial paper used for raising money or to sustain credit, as a check which represents no deposit in bank, or a bill of exchange not sanctioned by sale of goods; an accommodation check or bill.
- n. (Zoöl.), Prov. Eng. The brill.
- n. (Naut.) A form of drag to be towed under water at any depth up to about forty fathoms, which on striking bottom is upset and rises to the surface; -- called also
- v. Cant To raise money by “kites;” .
- n. Prov. Eng. & Scot. The belly.
- v. soar or fly like a kite
- v. fly a kite
- n. a bank check that has been fraudulently altered to increase its face value
- v. increase the amount (of a check) fraudulently
- v. get credit or money by using a bad check
- n. any of several small graceful hawks of the family Accipitridae having long pointed wings and feeding on insects and small animals
- n. plaything consisting of a light frame covered with tissue paper; flown in wind at end of a string
- n. a bank check drawn on insufficient funds at another bank in order to take advantage of the float
- Origin uncertain. Possibly from Middle English *kit, *kid (attested only in compounds: kidney), from Old English cwiþ ("belly, womb"), from Proto-Germanic *kweþuz (“stomach, belly”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷet-, *gut- (“swelling, rounding; stomach, entrails”), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷu-, *gū- (“to bend, curve, bow, vault, distend”). Cognate with Icelandic kýta ("stomach of a fish, roe"), West Flemish kijte, kiete ("fleshy part of the body"), Middle Low German kūt ("entrails"), Icelandic kviður ("stomach"), kviði ("womb"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, bird of prey, from Old English cȳta. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The boy _flies_ the kite, the verb _fly_ is _transitive_, and governs the noun _kite_ in the objective case.”
“Now when you're making a kite, you want to make a _kite_, not a paper doll!”
“Like, if we wanted to get a message, or something else, to one of the guys in another cell, we would take string out of the blanket on our bed and use it to make what we called a kite.”
“The tail of the kite is the Maydán, the poorest part of”
“Stuck on to what they calls a kite, an accommodation bill.”
“The kite is also designed to be landed safely even if the tether is broken, using batteries to power its motors.”
“One can do after a session with the kite is to hang washing on the line as lifting ones arms above the horizontal is worse than a kick in the balls.”
“As your bloke will have worked out the power comes when the kite is down near the horizon.”
“If something goes wrong and the kite is on the property could be a real problem if the lock around the shaft at the base of the property.”
“A kite is a contract of glory that must be made with the sun, so you make friends with the field the river and the wind, then you pray the whole cold night before, under the travelling cordless moon, to make you worthy and lyric and pure.”
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