I frequently observe people arguing (on this very web site) about the question if falling is a mode of flying or not. It appears to me that the majority of people have a strong opinion that it is not.
Surely it is a matter of definition. I made the effort to look it up in a number of online dictionaries. Most sources provide many possible options to define flight, like Merriam-Webster:
1a : an act or instance of passing through the air by the use of wings
but it continues with
2a : a passing through the air or through space outside the earth's atmosphere
Wikipedia tried to put everything into one paragraph:
Flight is the process by which an object moves through an atmosphere (or beyond it, as in the case of spaceflight) without contact with the surface. This can be achieved by generating aerodynamic lift associated with propulsive thrust, aerostatically using buoyancy, or by ballistic movement.
Flight may be aerodynamic, propulsive, aerostatic, or ballistic.
When one throws a ball, the ball is flying. It flies until it hits anything else than air. Why would it be different if the ball is thrown upwards, or pushed downwards, or just dropped?
In my understanding, falling is just a very special case of flying. Is this correct?