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[duhk-ling] /ˈdʌk lɪŋ/
a young duck.
Origin of duckling
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English; see duck1, -ling1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for duckling
  • But invasive species aren't always an ugly duckling and emotions can run high against efforts to remove them.
  • The ugly duckling becomes a swan and exacts her revenge in this complex drama.
  • Go with a steak or choose one of the specialties, including roast duckling and scallops.
  • He was the ugly duckling where he came from, and he's worshipped here.
  • It must have been extremely difficult to be the ugly duckling in a family of swans.
  • Inside those walls she would forever remain the ugly duckling of her early teens.
  • Indeed, it's the ugly duckling who has turned into a swan.
  • And then she can choose which drake will father her duckling.
  • If you find a duckling or gosling alone, search for a nearby parent and try to safely reunite them.
  • Mallard duckling growth and survival in relation to aquatic invertebrates.
British Dictionary definitions for duckling


a young duck
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for duckling

mid-15c., dookelynge, from duck (n.) + -ling. The ugly duckling is from Hans Christian Andersen's tale (1843 in Danish, by 1846 in English).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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