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

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

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.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English flet, flete, from Old English flēot ("ship")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English flet, flete, from Old English flēot ("river, estuary")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English fleten ("float"), from Old English flēotan ("float")

Examples

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