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1. Unreliable or unscrupulous, especially with regard to business dealings: "some fly-by-night startup that was halfway to shutting down" (Douglas Edwards).
2. Of an impermanent or insubstantial nature: fly-by-night fashions in clothing.
n. also fly-by-night·er (-nī′tər)
1. An unreliable or unscrupulous person.
2. One, such as a company, that is short-lived and therefore unreliable.
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.
1. unreliable or untrustworthy, esp in finance
2. brief; impermanent
3. an untrustworthy person, esp one who departs secretly or by night to avoid paying debts
4. a person who goes out at night to places of entertainment
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
1. not reliable or well established, esp. in business, and primarily interested in making a quick profit: a fly-by-night operation.
2. not lasting; impermanent; transitory.n.
3. a debtor who attempts to evade creditors.
4. a fly-by-night person or business.Also, fly′-by-night′er.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
fly-by-night- Said to be an old term of reproach to a woman signifying that she was a witch, and was extended to "anyone who departs hastily from a recent activity," especially while owing money.
See also related terms for witch.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
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|Noun||1.||fly-by-night - a debtor who flees to avoid paying|
|Adj.||1.||fly-by-night - (of businesses and businessmen) unscrupulous; "a shady operation"|
|2.||fly-by-night - ephemeral; "the symphony is no fly-by-night venture"|
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
adjective (Informal) unreliable, cowboy (informal), dubious, questionable, shady, untrustworthy, undependable fly-by-night operators who do shoddy work
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002