\ 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 1,000th chick’s mother previously hatched two chicks, officials said, but researchers are watching closely to see if this will be her first to fledge, or successfully leave the nest. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "1,000th California condor has hatched in a victory for the species that nearly went extinct," 22 July 2019 The older birds seem to understand the timeline needed for their young to fledge and forgo breeding in late spring years. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "A snowy winter makes for a challenging spring for birds and animals in Alaska’s Interior," 11 Apr. 2020 Baby hummingbirds can take between four and six weeks to fledge or grow feathers big enough to fly. Erin Stone, azcentral, "A hummingbird in way of a looming roofing project safely flies the nest," 3 Apr. 2020 At about four months old, the chick becomes a fledging and is ready to leave the nest. National Geographic, "White-backed vulture," 24 Mar. 2020 Back in the 1970s, a fledging delivery company called Federal Express made Memphis their headquarters, and a few years later Charlie Vergos and his son Nick started shipping ribs nationwide via overnight air. Robert Moss, Southern Living, "8 Ways to Satisfy Your Barbecue Cravings by Mail," 17 Apr. 2020 Last year, the trio hatched and fledged three eaglets. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Eagle trio along Mississippi River captures online attention, but they might not be viewable for much longer," 5 Mar. 2020 Our goal is to go full-fledged over all 10 of them. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Sprinter wins for Britain and college star takes hurdles," 2 Oct. 2019 Hummingbird nestlings take between two and four weeks to fledge, or grow feathers big enough to start flying. Erin Stone, azcentral, "A Phoenix woman wants to save a baby hummingbird. Her HOA may not let her," 26 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for fledge

Time Traveler

The first known use of fledge was in 1566

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Statistics for fledge

Last Updated

8 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fledge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fledge. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for fledge


How to pronounce fledge (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fledge

of a bird : to develop the feathers necessary for flying

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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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