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1. A number of warships operating together under one command.
2. A number of vessels having a shared origin, purpose, or area of operation: the Japanese merchant fleet; the North Pacific fishing fleet.
3. A group of vehicles, such as taxicabs or airliners, owned or operated as a unit.
[Middle English flete, from Old English flēot, from flēotan, to float; see pleu- in Indo-European roots.]
adj. fleet·er, fleet·est
1. Moving swiftly and nimbly. See Synonyms at fast1.
2. Fleeting; evanescent.
v. fleet·ed, fleet·ing, fleets
1. To move or pass swiftly: The summer days fleeted by.
2. To fade; vanish: beauty that is fleeting away.
3. Obsolete To flow.
4. Obsolete To drift.
1. To cause (time) to pass quickly.
2. Nautical To alter the position of (tackle or rope, for example).
[Probably from Old Norse fljōtr. V., from Middle English fleten, to drift, float, from Old English flēotan; see pleu- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.