Word of the Day: wing

Word of the Day
April 6, 2016
wing (noun, verb)
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Most commonly, a wing is the part of the body that allows birds, insects, and bats to fly. It is also the long arm on the side of an airplane. In sports, wing is one of the playing positions and, especially in politics, a wing is a group inside an organization. To wing means 'to fly' or, literally or figuratively, 'to move really quickly.' It also means 'to shoot a bird in the wing to prevent it from flying' or 'to shoot a person in the arm or shoulder.'

 

Example sentences
 
The bird spread its wings and flew away.
Jennifer's seat on the plane looked out onto the wing.
Mike is playing right wing in this football game.
Sinn Féin was the political wing of the IRA during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
The bird winged past Ellen as she sat in the garden.
The letter is currently winging its way to its destination.
The hunter winged the bird before taking the fatal shot.
The bank robber shot the police officer, but only winged her.

 

Multi-word forms
 
in the wings: literally, just off stage in a theater; this expression can be used figuratively to mean that someone is present but not part of the main action. Example: "Rachel has been waiting in the wings for years for her boss to retire so she can take his job."
take somebody under your wing: take care of someone. Example: "Ben took the new guy at work under his wing and helped him through the first few weeks."
spread your wings: become independent, like a baby bird leaving the nest. Example: "Parents are always sad when their children leave home, but everyone needs to grow up and spread their wings eventually."
 
Did you know?
 
As a verb, wing can also be used informally to mean 'to do something without any preparation.' Example: "I didn't have time to prepare, so I had to wing the interview." In this sense, it is often used in the expression wing it. Example: "I didn't expect to win the award, so I hadn't written a speech. When they called my name, I just had to wing it!"
 
Other forms
 
wingless (adjective), wing-like (adjective)
 
Origin
 
Wing dates back to the middle of the 12th century and comes from the Old Danish word wingæ.
 
 
 
 
 
Wing in other languages
 
 
 
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