verb (used with object), fledged, fledg·ing.

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, fledg·ing.

(of a young bird) to acquire the feathers necessary for flight.


Archaic. (of young birds) able to fly.

Origin of fledge

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 formsfledge·less, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for fledging

Contemporary Examples of fledging

  • But come June, the fledging African-American cable network Aspire wants you to have choices.

  • Block was Wisconsin state director for the fledging Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group funded by the Koch brothers.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Man in Cain's Smoking Video

    David A. Graham

    October 25, 2011

  • Now, that hubris might lead to the dismantling of her fledging cartel, as the Argentine police claim to be hot on her tracks.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Lingerie Drug Lord

    Constantino Diaz-Duran

    February 25, 2010

Historical Examples of fledging

British Dictionary definitions for fledging



(tr) to feed and care for (a young bird) until it is able to fly
Also called: fletch (tr) to fit (something, esp an arrow) with a feather or feathers
(intr) (of a young bird) to grow feathers
(tr) to cover or adorn with or as if with feathers

Word Origin for fledge

Old English -flycge, as in unflycge unfledged; related to Old High German flucki able to fly; see fly 1
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 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