\ ˈflej How to pronounce fledge (audio) \
fledged; fledging

Definition of fledge

intransitive verb

of a young bird : to acquire the feathers necessary for flight or independent activity also : to leave the nest after acquiring such feathers

transitive verb

1 : to rear until ready for flight or independent activity
2 : to cover with or as if with feathers or down
3 : to furnish (something) with feathers feather an arrow

Examples of fledge in a Sentence

The young birds haven't yet fledged.

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2009, a female whooping crane—the first in her swoop to successfully fledge a chick—was shot and killed by an Indiana man who was later fined $1 and ordered to pay $550 in court costs. Justin Rohrlich, Quartz, "What kind of animal would shoot a whooping crane?," 29 Aug. 2019 Experts hope that the new baby will be the first of her offspring to successfully fledge, or grow enough to acquire flight feathers and foray out of the nest. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "The California Condor Nearly Went Extinct. Now, the 1000th Chick of a Recovery Program Has Hatched.," 22 July 2019 If a nest is discovered, a pole removal will be delayed until chicks are fledged. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "Some worry Edison pole replacements could displace woodpeckers that feed, nest inside," 17 July 2019 Again, this year the process was repeated, starting in mid-April and continuing through May when eggs were hatched, chicks raised and successfully fledged. Ernie Cowan, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Tiny birdhouse an unexpected home for wren family," 6 July 2019 The eaglets just fledged, and this week were venturing away from their home made of sticks — honing skills in flying and picking off rabbits, snakes and prairie dogs. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "Golden eagles survive amid suburbia of Highlands Ranch, thanks to preservation of natural habitat," 5 July 2019 The owl, not yet fledged, grabbed Bonnie’s shoulder as the starling launched from the top of her head and wildly into the air, only to return to the safety of the teenager’s loose hair. Tribune News Service, oregonlive.com, "The Man in the Window: Is this the childhood of a serial killer? (Part One)," 22 June 2019 New research shows that those blistering temperatures could have had a major impact on how quickly fledging life-forms evolved. Quanta Magazine, "Faster Evolution on a Warmer Earth," 12 July 2016 He was accompanied by his friend and mentor Steffie Mizrahi, a pioneer of Paris’s fledging ballroom scene. Vogue, "Inside Paris’s Burgeoning Ball Scene," 19 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fledge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fledge

1566, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for fledge

fledge capable of flying, from Middle English flegge, from Old English -flycge; akin to Old High German flucki capable of flying, Old English flēogan to fly — more at fly

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Statistics for fledge

Last Updated

13 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for fledge

The first known use of fledge was in 1566

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English Language Learners Definition of fledge

of a bird : to develop the feathers necessary for flying

More from Merriam-Webster on fledge

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with fledge

Nglish: Translation of fledge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fledge for Arabic Speakers

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