A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Fly (noun)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 825

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 825

Fly. n.s. [fleoʒe, Saxon.]

  1. A small winged insect of many species.

    As flies to wanton boys, are we to th' gods;
    They kill us for their sport.
    Shakespeare's King Lear.

    My country neighbours begin to think of being in general, before they come to think of the fly in their sheep, or the tares in their corn. Locke.

    To prevent the fly, some propose to sow ashes with the seed. Mortimer's Husbandry.

            To heedless flies the window proves
    A constant death.
    Thomson's Summer.

  2. That part of a machine which, being put into a quick motion, regulates and equalises the motion of the rest.

    If we suppose a man tied in the place of the weight, it were easy, by a single hair fastened unto the fly or balance of the jack, to draw him up from the ground. Wilkins.

  3. Fly, in a compass. That part which points how the wind blows.

Sources: Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · Locke, John (269) · Mortimer, John (62) · Thomson, James (73) · Wilkins, John (32)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Fly (noun)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: October 22, 2012. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/fly-noun/.

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