n. & a.

  1. To sail; to float.
  2. To fly swiftly; to pass over quickly; to hasten; to flit as a light substance.
  3. To slip on the whelps or the barrel of a capstan or windlass; -- said of a cable or hawser.

v. t.

  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.
  3. To draw apart the blocks of; -- said of a tackle.
  4. To cause to slip down the barrel of a capstan or windlass, as a rope or chain.

v. i.

  1. Swift in motion; moving with velocity; light and quick in going from place to place; nimble.
  2. Light; superficially thin; not penetrating deep, as soil.
  3. A number of vessels in company, especially war vessels; also, the collective naval force of a country, etc.
  4. A flood; a creek or inlet; a bay or estuary; a river; -- obsolete, except as a place name, -- as Fleet Street in London.
  5. A former prison in London, which originally stood near a stream, the Fleet (now filled up).
  6. To take the cream from; to skim.