Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

ugly duckling

noun

Simple Definition of ugly duckling

  • : a person or thing that is not attractive or successful but that is likely to become attractive or successful in the future

Full Definition of ugly duckling

  1. :  one that appears very unpromising but often has great potential

Examples of ugly duckling

  1. The house is an ugly duckling, but it has a lot of potential.



Origin of ugly duckling

The Ugly Duckling, story by Hans Christian Andersen


First Known Use: 1869


Learn More about ugly duckling


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ugly duckling? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 12, 2016

of, relating to, or suggestive of marble

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image33683556

How much does a batman (the Turkish unit of measurement) weigh?

196.5 pounds 100 pounds 16.96 pounds 2.2 pounds
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ