\ 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 The United States Forest Service announced a partial closure of the Peaks Crag climbing area in the Coconino National Forest in Flagstaff from March 15 to August 15 of 2022, though the closure may end sooner if the young falcons fledge. Adam Terro, The Arizona Republic, 15 Mar. 2022 Born last spring, #1111 is the second condor ever to fledge, or learn to fly, in Zion. The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Jan. 2022 Birders said the animals were about to fledge from their nest and appeared to be perfectly healthy, but a federal wildlife official said the ospreys weren’t close to fledging. Washington Post, 20 Aug. 2021 In some cases, the natural chicks don't thrive and only the cowbird chick survives to fledge from the nest. Val Cunningham Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 6 July 2021 Once the babies fledge at 35 days, International Bird Rescue plans to release the terns back into the wild. Los Angeles Times, 16 July 2021 For those who put up bird nesting boxes in spring, now is a good time to watch for the young to fledge. Sheryl Devore, chicagotribune.com, 9 July 2021 In many other cases, all chicks fledge, but the parents work nearly to exhaustion to satisfy the large interloper. Val Cunningham Special To The Star Tribune, Star Tribune, 6 July 2021 The cliffs where birds set up nests will stay closed for the rest of the breeding season, until the chicks fledge sometime around late July. Rebekah Wahlberg, The Salt Lake Tribune, 1 Mar. 2021 See More

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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Last Updated

29 Mar 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fledge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fledge. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on fledge

Nglish: Translation of fledge for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fledge for Arabic Speakers


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