On the wing


On the wing
Wing Wing, n. [OE. winge, wenge; probably of Scand. origin; cf. Dan. & Sw. vinge, Icel. v[ae]ngr.] [1913 Webster] 1. One of the two anterior limbs of a bird, pterodactyl, or bat. They correspond to the arms of man, and are usually modified for flight, but in the case of a few species of birds, as the ostrich, auk, etc., the wings are used only as an assistance in running or swimming. [1913 Webster]

As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings. --Deut. xxxii. 11. [1913 Webster]

Note: In the wing of a bird the long quill feathers are in series. The primaries are those attached to the ulnar side of the hand; the secondaries, or wing coverts, those of the forearm: the scapulars, those that lie over the humerus; and the bastard feathers, those of the short outer digit. See Illust. of {Bird}, and {Plumage}. [1913 Webster]

2. Any similar member or instrument used for the purpose of flying. Specifically: (Zo["o]l.) (a) One of the two pairs of upper thoracic appendages of most hexapod insects. They are broad, fanlike organs formed of a double membrane and strengthened by chitinous veins or nervures. (b) One of the large pectoral fins of the flying fishes. [1913 Webster]

3. Passage by flying; flight; as, to take wing. [1913 Webster]

Light thickens; and the crow Makes wing to the rooky wood. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. Motive or instrument of flight; means of flight or of rapid motion. [1913 Webster]

Fiery expedition be my wing. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

5. Anything which agitates the air as a wing does, or which is put in winglike motion by the action of the air, as a fan or vane for winnowing grain, the vane or sail of a windmill, etc. [1913 Webster]

6. An ornament worn on the shoulder; a small epaulet or shoulder knot. [1913 Webster]

7. Any appendage resembling the wing of a bird or insect in shape or appearance. Specifically: (a) (Zo["o]l.) One of the broad, thin, anterior lobes of the foot of a pteropod, used as an organ in swimming. (b) (Bot.) Any membranaceous expansion, as that along the sides of certain stems, or of a fruit of the kind called samara. (c) (Bot.) Either of the two side petals of a papilionaceous flower. [1913 Webster]

8. One of two corresponding appendages attached; a sidepiece. Hence: (a) (Arch.) A side building, less than the main edifice; as, one of the wings of a palace. (b) (Fort.) The longer side of crownworks, etc., connecting them with the main work. (c) (Hort.) A side shoot of a tree or plant; a branch growing up by the side of another. [Obs.] (d) (Mil.) The right or left division of an army, regiment, etc. (e) (Naut.) That part of the hold or orlop of a vessel which is nearest the sides. In a fleet, one of the extremities when the ships are drawn up in line, or when forming the two sides of a triangle. --Totten. (f) One of the sides of the stags in a theater. [1913 Webster]

9. (Aeronautics) Any surface used primarily for supporting a flying machine in flight, especially the flat or slightly curved planes on a heavier-than-air aircraft which provide most of the lift. In fixed-wing aircraft there are usually two main wings fixed on opposite sides of the fuselage. Smaller wings are typically placed near the tail primarily for stabilization, but may be absent in certain kinds of aircraft. Helicopters usually have no fixed wings, the lift being supplied by the rotating blade. [PJC]

10. One of two factions within an organization, as a political party, which are opposed to each other; as, right wing or left wing. [PJC]

11. An administrative division of the air force or of a naval air group, consisting of a certain number of airplanes and the personnel associated with them. [PJC]

{On the wing}. (a) Supported by, or flying with, the wings another.

{On the wings of the wind}, with the utmost velocity.

{Under the wing of}, or {Under the wings of}, under the care or protection of.

{Wing and wing} (Naut.), with sails hauled out on either side; -- said of a schooner, or her sails, when going before the wind with the foresail on one side and the mainsail on the other; also said of a square-rigged vessel which has her studding sails set. Cf. {Goosewinged}.

{Wing case} (Zo["o]l.), one of the anterior wings of beetles, and of some other insects, when thickened and used to protect the hind wings; an elytron; -- called also {wing cover}.

{Wing covert} (Zo["o]l.), one of the small feathers covering the bases of the wing quills. See {Covert}, n., 2.

{Wing gudgeon} (Mach.), an iron gudgeon for the end of a wooden axle, having thin, broad projections to prevent it from turning in the wood. See Illust. of {Gudgeon}.

{Wing shell} (Zo["o]l.), wing case of an insect.

{Wing stroke}, the stroke or sweep of a wing.

{Wing transom} (Naut.), the uppermost transom of the stern; -- called also {main transom}. --J. Knowles. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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