a young duck.

Origin of duckling

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50; see origin at duck1, -ling1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for duckling

Contemporary Examples of duckling

  • In his six years in Paris, Lebovitz transforms himself from a clueless American duckling into a knowing Parisian swan.

    The Daily Beast logo
    An American in Paris—with Brownies

    Kathleen Willcox

    May 8, 2009

Historical Examples of duckling

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

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