What does fly-by-night mean?

Definitions for fly-by-night

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word fly-by-night.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. fly-by-nightadjective

    a debtor who flees to avoid paying

  2. fly-by-night, shadyadjective

    (of businesses and businessmen) unscrupulous

    "a shady operation"

  3. fly-by-nightadjective


    "the symphony is no fly-by-night venture"


  1. fly-by-nightnoun

    A creature which flies at night; a nocturnal flier or traveler.

  2. fly-by-nightnoun

    One who departs or flees at night in order to avoid creditors, law enforcement etc. (often used attributively).

    Do not give your credit card number to that fly-by-night operation.


  1. fly-by-night

    Fly-by-night is a term often used to describe a business or person that is unreliable, untrustworthy, or established to quickly make profit, then disappear. These operations, individuals, or entities often provide substandard products or services, avoid responsibilities, and may participate in fraudulent or unethical activities. The term comes from the idea of someone leaving hastily under the cover of darkness to avoid consequences or detection.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. fly-by-night

    A sort of square-sail, like a studding-sail, used in sloops when running before the wind; often a temporary spare jib set from the topmast-head to the yard-arm of the square-sail.

How to pronounce fly-by-night?

How to say fly-by-night in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of fly-by-night in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of fly-by-night in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of fly-by-night in a Sentence

  1. Upendra Tripathy:

    There is always a tradeoff, there can be a relaxed condition so that more people can participate and there is another where you can make sure fly-by-night operators can't come in. It's an ongoing process and we are open to suggestions.

  2. Patrick Njoroge:

    What I think is worrisome is a lot of products that are coming in a sort of a fly-by-night operation and you only hear about it because somebody gets burned.

  3. Theresa Cardinal Brown:

    These are not some fly-by-night universities, these aren't scams, these are legit universities who would normally have in-person curricula but for coronavirus, the bigger issue is some of these countries have travel restrictions on and they can't go home, so what do they do then ?

Translations for fly-by-night

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"fly-by-night." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 14 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/fly-by-night>.

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    a wild and exciting undertaking (not necessarily lawful)
    A refine
    B accompany
    C embark
    D adventure

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