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[flej-ling] /ˈflɛdʒ lɪŋ/
a young bird just fledged.
an inexperienced person.
young, new, or inexperienced:
a fledgling diver.
Also, especially British, fledgeling.
Origin of fledgling
First recorded in 1820-30; fledge + -ling1
2. novice, tyro, beginner, freshman, greenhorn. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for fledgeling
Historical Examples
  • It saw the egg and probably the chick, but not the fledgeling.

  • One of the ducks taken in this way was a mother with a fledgeling.

    North-Pole Voyages Zachariah Atwell Mudge
  • The knowing bird is not caught in the snare, and I, Dilasah, am not a fledgeling.

    Barclay of the Guides Herbert Strang
  • "God guard you, my fledgeling," she whispered over and over.

    The Ward of King Canute Ottilie A. Liljencrantz
  • That and the fall of the fledgeling excited the birds more than ever.

    Secret of the Woods William J. Long
  • A foal is an immature horse, a chicken an immature fowl, a calf an immature ox, a fledgeling an immature bird.

    The Esperanto Teacher Helen Fryer
  • Her spirit felt as bruised as a fledgeling fallen upon stony ground.

    The Ward of King Canute Ottilie A. Liljencrantz
  • The woman looked about her at the upturned mouths even as in a nest of fledgeling blackbirds.

    The Triumph of Virginia Dale John Francis, Jr.
  • Luke is, doubtless, the stray rook, and a fledgeling hath flown hither from a distant country.

    Rookwood William Harrison Ainsworth
British Dictionary definitions for fledgeling


a young bird that has just fledged
  1. a young and inexperienced or untried person, organization or system
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 fledgeling


1830 (adj.), 1846 as a noun meaning "young bird," from fledge + diminutive suffix -ling. Of persons, from 1856.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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fledgeling in Science
A young bird that has just grown the feathers needed to fly and is capable of surviving outside the nest.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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