The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Wing \Wing\, n. [OE. winge, wenge; probably of Scand. origin;
cf. Dan. & Sw. vinge, Icel. v[ae]ngr.]
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.
As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over
her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them,
beareth them on her wings. --Deut. xxxii.
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
2. Any similar member or instrument used for the purpose of
flying. Specifically: (Zool.)
(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.
3. Passage by flying; flight; as, to take wing.
Light thickens; and the crow
Makes wing to the rooky wood. --Shak.
4. Motive or instrument of flight; means of flight or of
Fiery expedition be my wing. --Shak.
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
6. An ornament worn on the shoulder; a small epaulet or
7. Any appendage resembling the wing of a bird or insect in
shape or appearance. Specifically:
(a) (Zool.) 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
(c) (Bot.) Either of the two side petals of a
8. One of two corresponding appendages attached; a sidepiece.
(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,
(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.
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.
10. One of two factions within an organization, as a
political party, which are opposed to each other; as,
right wing or left wing.
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.
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 (Zool.), 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
Wing covert (Zool.), 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 (Zool.), 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.