from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One of a pair of movable appendages used for flying, as the feather-covered modified forelimb of a bird or the skin-covered modified forelimb of a bat or pterosaur.
  • noun One of the one or two pairs of membranous structures used for flying that extend from the thorax of an insect.
  • noun A structure or part used by an animal for gliding through the air, as the folds of skin of a flying squirrel or the enlarged pectoral fins of a flying fish.
  • noun An outspread pair of stylized bird's wings worn as insignia by qualified pilots or air crew members.
  • noun An airfoil whose principal function is providing lift, especially either of two such airfoils symmetrically positioned on each side of the fuselage of an aircraft.
  • noun A thin or membranous extension, as of the fruit of a maple or ash, the seed of a pine, or the branches of a winged elm.
  • noun One of the lateral petals of the flower of certain plants in the pea family, such as the sweet pea.
  • noun Something that resembles a wing in appearance or function, especially.
  • noun The vane of a weathervane.
  • noun The sail of a ship.
  • noun A folding section, as of a double door or of a movable partition.
  • noun Either of the two side projections on the back of a wing chair.
  • noun A flat of theatrical scenery projecting onto the stage from the side.
  • noun Chiefly British The fender of a motor vehicle.
  • noun A structure that forms an extended part of or is attached to a main structure.
  • noun Either of the unseen backstage areas on the sides of the stage of a proscenium theater.
  • noun The act or manner of flying.
  • noun A means of flight or rapid movement.
  • noun A group affiliated with or subordinate to an older or larger organization.
  • noun Either of two groups with opposing views within a larger group; a faction.
  • noun A section of a party, legislature, or community holding distinct, especially dissenting, political views.
  • noun Either the left or right flank of an army or a naval fleet.
  • noun An air force unit larger than a group but smaller than a numbered air force or, formerly, than a division.
  • noun Either of the forward positions near the sides of the playing area, especially in hockey.
  • noun A player who plays this position.
  • intransitive verb To move swiftly through the air or on wings.
  • intransitive verb To pass over or through with wings.
  • intransitive verb To make (one's way) through the air or on wings.
  • intransitive verb To carry or transport by flying.
  • intransitive verb To furnish with wings.
  • intransitive verb To feather (an arrow).
  • intransitive verb To throw or propel (a ball, for example) through the air.
  • intransitive verb To strike or wound in a wing or an appendage.
  • intransitive verb To furnish with side or subordinate extensions, as a building or an altarpiece.
  • intransitive verb To say or do (something) without preparation or forethought; improvise.
  • idiom (give wing to) To provide the impetus for or enable (something).
  • idiom (give wing to) To free from constraints or allow to operate freely.
  • idiom (in the wings) In the stage wings, unseen by the audience.
  • idiom (in the wings) Close by in the background; available at short notice.
  • idiom (on the wing) In flight; flying.
  • idiom (take wing) To fly off; soar away.


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

[Middle English wenge, winge, of Scandinavian origin; see wē- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old Norse vængr.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word wing.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • conrner, edge, farthest ends

    July 24, 2009