Fly-By-Night

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One who disappears after selling something to get quick or immediate profit, an untrustworthy or unreliable person or thing

Etymology:

  • This is an old term which was referred to an old woman who was assumed to be like a witch. Since witches are supposed to fly at night on their typical broom, the term was used in the same context for anyone who flies or runs away immediately from place or activity. The term was much used later in 19th century for business or people who used to run away or fly in midnight to avoid confrontation with customers and the promises they had made on them.
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One must be careful in dealing with fly by night traders in this market.

Submitted on February 25, 2019

Additional definitions for 'Fly-By-Night':

fly-by-nightA creatures which flies at night; a nocturnal flier or traveler.
fly-by-nightBusinesses that appear and disappear rapidly, or that give an impression of transience.
fly-by-nightOne who departs or flees at night in order to avoid creditors, law enforcement etc. .
fly-by-nightTraveling businessmen and tradesmen.
fly-by-nightA creature which flies at night; a nocturnal flier or traveler.
fly-by-nightOne who departs or flees at night in order to avoid creditors, law enforcement etc..
fly-by-nightA person or business that appears and disappears rapidly, or gives an impression of transience.
fly-by-nightA traveling businessman or tradesman.
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Nearby phrases

Some more phrases from our dictionary similar to Fly-By-Night

How to pronounce this phrase?

  1. Alex
    Alex
    US English
    Daniel
    Daniel
    British
    Karen
    Karen
    Australian
    Veena
    Veena
    Indian

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Citation

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"Fly-By-Night." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 15 Aug. 2020. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/fly-by-night_44674>.

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