on the wing

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

On \On\ ([o^]n), prep. [OE. on, an, o, a, AS. on, an; akin to D.
   aan, OS. & G. an, OHG. ana, Icel. [=a], Sw. [*a], Goth. ana,
   Russ. na, L. an-, in anhelare to pant, Gr. 'ana`, Zend ana.
   [root]195. Cf. A-, 1, Ana-, Anon.]
   The general signification of on is situation, motion, or
   condition with respect to contact or support beneath; as: 
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   1. At, or in contact with, the surface or upper part of a
      thing, and supported by it; placed or lying in contact
      with the surface; as, the book lies on the table, which
      stands on the floor of a house on an island.
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            I stood on the bridge at midnight.    --Longfellow.
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   2. To or against the surface of; -- used to indicate the
      motion of a thing as coming or falling to the surface of
      another; as, rain falls on the earth.
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            Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken.
                                                  --Matt. xxi.
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   3. Denoting performance or action by contact with the
      surface, upper part, or outside of anything; hence, by
      means of; with; as, to play on a violin or piano. Hence,
      figuratively, to work on one's feelings; to make an
      impression on the mind.
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   4. At or near; adjacent to; -- indicating situation, place,
      or position; as, on the one hand, on the other hand; the
      fleet is on the American coast.
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   5. In addition to; besides; -- indicating multiplication or
      succession in a series; as, heaps on heaps; mischief on
      mischief; loss on loss; thought on thought. --Shak.
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   6. Indicating dependence or reliance; with confidence in; as,
      to depend on a person for assistance; to rely on; hence,
      indicating the ground or support of anything; as, he will
      promise on certain conditions; to bet on a horse; based on
      certain assumptions.
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   7. At or in the time of; during; as, on Sunday we abstain
      from labor. See At (synonym).
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   8. At the time of; -- often conveying some notion of cause or
      motive; as, on public occasions, the officers appear in
      full dress or uniform; the shop is closed on Sundays.
      Hence, in consequence of, or following; as, on the
      ratification of the treaty, the armies were disbanded;
      start on the count of three.
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   9. Toward; for; -- indicating the object of some passion; as,
      have pity or compassion on him.
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   10. At the peril of, or for the safety of. "Hence, on thy
       life." --Dryden.
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   11. By virtue of; with the pledge of; -- denoting a pledge or
       engagement, and put before the thing pledged; as, he
       affirmed or promised on his word, or on his honor.
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   12. To the account of; -- denoting imprecation or invocation,
       or coming to, falling, or resting upon; as, on us be all
       the blame; a curse on him.
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             His blood be on us and on our children. --Matt.
                                                  xxvii. 25.
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   13. In reference or relation to; as, on our part expect
       punctuality; a satire on society.
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   14. Of. [Obs.] "Be not jealous on me." --Shak.
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             Or have we eaten on the insane root
             That takes the reason prisoner?      --Shak.
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   Note: Instances of this usage are common in our older
         writers, and are sometimes now heard in illiterate
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   15. Occupied with; in the performance of; as, only three
       officers are on duty; on a journey; on the job; on an
       assignment; on a case; on the alert.
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   16. In the service of; connected with; a member of; as, he is
       on a newspaper; on a committee.
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   Note: On and upon are in general interchangeable. In some
         applications upon is more euphonious, and is therefore
         to be preferred; but in most cases on is preferable.
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   17. In reference to; about; concerning; as, to think on it;
       to meditate on it.

   On a bowline. (Naut.) Same as Closehauled.

   On a wind, or On the wind (Naut.), sailing closehauled.

   On a sudden. See under Sudden.

   On board, On draught, On fire, etc. See under Board,
      Draught, Fire, etc.

   On it, On't, of it. [Obs. or Colloq.] --Shak.

   On shore, on land; to the shore.

   On the road, On the way, On the wing, etc. See under
      Road, Way, etc.

   On to, upon; on; to; -- sometimes written as one word,
      onto, and usually called a colloquialism; but it may be
      regarded in analogy with into.
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            They have added the -en plural form on to an elder
            plural.                               --Earle.
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            We see the strength of the new movement in the new
            class of ecclesiastics whom it forced on to the
            stage.                                --J. R. Green.
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From 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.]
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   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.
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            As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth over
            her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them,
            beareth them on her wings.            --Deut. xxxii.
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   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
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   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.
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   3. Passage by flying; flight; as, to take wing.
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            Light thickens; and the crow
            Makes wing to the rooky wood.         --Shak.
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   4. Motive or instrument of flight; means of flight or of
      rapid motion.
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            Fiery expedition be my wing.          --Shak.
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   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
      windmill, etc.
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   6. An ornament worn on the shoulder; a small epaulet or
      shoulder knot.
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   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
          called samara.
      (c) (Bot.) Either of the two side petals of a
          papilionaceous flower.
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   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,
          regiment, etc.
      (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.
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   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.
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