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[flej] /flɛdʒ/
verb (used with object), fledged, fledging.
to bring up (a young bird) until it is able to fly.
to furnish with or as if with feathers or plumage.
to provide (an arrow) with feathers.
verb (used without object), fledged, fledging.
(of a young bird) to acquire the feathers necessary for flight.
Archaic. (of young birds) able to fly.
1350-1400; Middle English flegge (fully-)fledged, Old English *flecge, as variant of -flycge; cognate with Old High German flucki, Middle Low German vlügge (> German flügge); akin to fly1
Related forms
fledgeless, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fledging
  • Total time from hatching to fledging averages three months.
  • Transporting leftovers forth and back is seen as typical fledging behaviour by semi-adults.
  • We were proud of what our fledging nation had achieved.
  • The government also offered support to fledging firms via direct investments and guaranteed loans.
  • Nesting chronology: initiation, hatching, and fledging dates.
  • Educate your friends, family, neighbors and yourselves about the fledging process.
  • Third visits should be made about two weeks prior to the expected fledging date of the nestlings.
  • Hatching and fledging dates should be projected and highlighted by site.
  • After fledging, chicks move farther away from nest site, returning only to feed.
  • Chicks that are fledging are attracted to streetlights and are unable to reach the sea.
British Dictionary definitions for fledging


(transitive) to feed and care for (a young bird) until it is able to fly
(transitive) Also called fletch. to fit (something, esp an arrow) with a feather or feathers
(intransitive) (of a young bird) to grow feathers
(transitive) to cover or adorn with or as if with feathers
Word Origin
Old English -flycge, as in unflycge unfledged; related to Old High German flucki able to fly; see fly1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for fledging



Old English *-flycge (Kentish -flecge),an adjective meaning "having the feathers, fit to fly," from West Germanic *fluggja- (cf. Middle Dutch vlugge, Low German flügge), from root meaning "to fly" (see fly (v.)). As a verb, it is first attested in English 1560s. Related: Fledged; fledging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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