1. A flood; a creek or inlet; a bay or estuary; a river; obsolete, except as a place name, as fleet Street in london. Together wove we nets to entrap the fish in floods and sedgy fleets. (Matthewes)
2. A former prison in london, which originally stood near a stream, the fleet (now filled up). Fleet parson, a clergyman of low character, in, or in the vicinity of, the fleet prison, who was ready to unite persons in marriage (called fleet marriage) at any hour, without public notice, witnesses, or consent of parents.
Origin: as. Fleot a place where vessels float, bay, river; akin to D. Vliet rill, brook, g. Fliess. See fleet.
1. To pass over rapidly; to skin the surface of; as, a ship that fleets the gulf.
2. To hasten over; to cause to pass away lighty, or in mirth and joy. Many young gentlemen flock to him, and fleet the time carelessly. (Shak)
3. To draw apart the blocks of; said of a tackle.
to cause to slip down the barrel of a capstan or windlass, as a rope or chain.
1. To sail; to float. And in frail wood on Adrian gulf doth fleet. (Spenser)
2. To fly swiftly; to pass over quickly; to hasten; to flit as a light substance. All the unaccomplished works of natures hand, . . . Dissolved on earth, fleet hither. (Milton)
3. To slip on the whelps or the barrel of a capstan or windlass; said of a cable or hawser.
Origin: oe. Fleten, fleoten, to swim, as
. Fleotan to swim, float; akin to D. Vlieten to flow, os. Fliotan, OHG. Fliozzan, g. Fliessen, Icel. Fljota to float, flow, Sw. Flyta, D. Flyde, L. Pluere to rain, gr. To sail, swim, float, Skr. Plu to swim, sail. Cf. Fleet, &, float, pluvial, flow.