- an infant or small child found abandoned; a child without a known parent or guardian.
Origin of foundling
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for foundling
I can put it for you in a breath--I am an English gentleman; you are a Dutch foundling!In the Valley
It was she who brought up the two foundling children, Marjolin and Cadine.A Zola Dictionary
J. G. Patterson
The child was left at the Foundling Hospital in my presence.
And he certainly has a lad from the Foundling, of the age you mention, at his place.
For might not the kitten, he thought, be more than Peggy's foundling be the other Thing disguised?Gilian The Dreamer
- an abandoned infant whose parents are not known
C13: foundeling; see find
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 foundling
"deserted infant," c.1300, from Middle English founden "found," past participle of finden (see find (v.)) + diminutive suffix -ling. Cf. Dutch vondeling, German Findling.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper