\ 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 From nest building to fledging is a process that can continue through June. Tom Stienstra, SFChronicle.com, "Hawks, eagles on full display at Contra Costa lake," 6 Feb. 2020 Now, streaming services are fully fledged, widespread offerings that are making and releasing the sorts of films that traditional studios do. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "This year will be the first real litmus test for the streaming vs. theater debate," 15 Jan. 2020 Harriet has fledged dozens of eagles since the early 1990s. Washington Post, "Offspring of popular eagle cam birds dies in Florida ranch," 15 Jan. 2020 As every parent of a college student knows, fledging is a process, not an event. Jill Singer, BostonGlobe.com, "Dealing with a suddenly empty nest," 17 Aug. 2019 Across the way from the Elm Street gun shack, Castonguay patiently watered her home’s fledging lawn and expressed impatience with the latest drama unfolding in the capital. BostonGlobe.com, "The MAGA-themed blade was a gift from a customer. Paradis said he had to post a not-for-sale sign because patrons kept trying to purchase it.," 26 Sep. 2019 Today, more than 60 eagles live on the Channel Islands and Santa Catalina Island, where 24 chicks have fledged from nests this year, making for the most successful breeding season since recovery began over 35 years ago. Los Angeles Times, "Bald eagles have found themselves a new home: Suburbia," 19 Sep. 2019 The nestlings who were about to fledge from the nest with higher cholesterol after eating the burger-rich diet actually had better body condition than their country cousins. Liz Langley, National Geographic, "Crows love cheeseburgers. And now they’re getting high cholesterol.," 26 Aug. 2019 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. Scottie Andrew And Brian Ries, CNN, "The 1,000th California condor has hatched in a victory for the species that nearly went extinct," 22 July 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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Time Traveler for fledge

Time Traveler

The first known use of fledge was in 1566

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Statistics for fledge

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Fledge.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fledged. Accessed 22 Feb. 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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