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fledge

[flej] /flɛdʒ/
verb (used with object), fledged, fledging.
1.
to bring up (a young bird) until it is able to fly.
2.
to furnish with or as if with feathers or plumage.
3.
to provide (an arrow) with feathers.
verb (used without object), fledged, fledging.
4.
(of a young bird) to acquire the feathers necessary for flight.
adjective
5.
Archaic. (of young birds) able to fly.
Origin
1350-1400
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
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for fledgeless

fledge

/flɛdʒ/
verb
1.
(transitive) to feed and care for (a young bird) until it is able to fly
2.
(transitive) Also called fletch. to fit (something, esp an arrow) with a feather or feathers
3.
(intransitive) (of a young bird) to grow feathers
4.
(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 fledgeless

fledge

v.

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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