- The definition of a fly-by-night is an unreliable person who is generally not known and who cannot be trusted.
An example of fly-by-night person is the description used for a salesman who promises the world but doesn't deliver.
- A fly-by-night is defined as an unreliable person who is generally not known and who cannot be trusted.
An example of a fly-by-night is a contractor who takes your money to produce your kitchen cabinets and then never produces them.
- Unreliable or unscrupulous, especially with regard to business dealings: “some fly-by-night startup that was halfway to shutting down” ( Douglas Edwards )
- Of an impermanent or insubstantial nature: fly-by-night fashions in clothing.
- An unreliable or unscrupulous person.
- One, such as a company, that is short-lived and therefore unreliable.
- A creature which flies at night; a nocturnal flier or traveler.
- 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.
- (idiomatic, derogatory) A person or business that appears and disappears rapidly, or gives an impression of transience.
- (idiomatic, derogatory) A traveling businessman or tradesman.
The phrase implies that the quality of work done or goods sold is shoddy enough that the person responsible must leave town under cover of darkness to evade angry customers, or sometimes legal authorities. The earliest use of the phrase is said to have been a reproach for women, signifying that she was a witch. The modern usage first appeared in 1823.
- Many karaoke downloading sites tend to be heavy handed with the pop up ads, and they also tend to be run by companies that sell ringtones online, which can sometimes be a little fly-by-night and shady.
- Since you don't want to entrust your wedding dress to a fly-by-night wedding retailer, do check out the shop with the Better Business Bureau.
- It's a multitasking genius in a world of fly-by-night cosmetics that promise to do so much but, in return, don't really do the job after all.
- While you may find cheaper sources of majorette uniforms, it's usually not worth the hassle that a fly-by-night operation can bring you.
- Sometimes these are fly-by-night operations and they pocket a big portion of consumers' cash and then disappear.