noun, often attributive
fledg·​ling | \ˈflej-liŋ \

Definition of fledgling 

1 : a young bird just fledged (see fledge sense 1) a female bird feeding her fledglings

2 : an immature or inexperienced person fledgling medical students

3 : one that is new a fledgling company

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Examples of fledgling in a Sentence

a female bird feeding her fledglings at hockey he's still a fledgling and needs to work on his basic skating skills

Recent Examples on the Web

Time_Sports Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has taken a major step forward in his fledgling golf career. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Tony Romo wins Wisconsin amateur golf tournament by nine strokes," 9 July 2018 The following year Vanguard, then a fledgling firm, took up Samuelson’s challenge and launched an index fund for retail investors. The Economist, "The growth of index investing has not made markets less efficient," 5 July 2018 During the debate, assembly members expressed reservations about raising taxes on a fledgling industry that appeared to be covering its administrative costs. Laurel Andrews, Anchorage Daily News, "For third month in a row, Alaska marijuana tax tops $1 million," 4 July 2018 As the birthplace of American cinema, California has seen a fledgling industry grow into a global economic powerhouse that today supports the livelihoods of more than 715,000 Californians. Jonathan Handel, The Hollywood Reporter, "California Extends Film Tax Credits to 2025," 27 June 2018 Moreover, when researchers forced a grayish sparrow called a junco (which has some of the lowest fledgling survival rates among the species studied) to stay in the nest for 13 days instead of 10, more lived to adulthood. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Time to fly? Birds that leave the nest at the wrong time can bring disaster on the whole family," 20 June 2018 The rating is impressive for a fledgling meadery—but so is the fact that Boneflower, which has yet to sell a single bottle of mead, has more than 150 reviews. Julia Thiel, Chicago Reader, "Booze / Food & Drink How a mead that hasn’t yet hit the market exploded in popularity," 12 June 2018 As part of its efforts, the fledgling union gave a new look to Eustace Tilley, the magazine’s top-hat-wearing icon. Daniel Victor, New York Times, "The New Yorker Joins a Growing List of Media Companies to Unionize," 6 June 2018 As our nascent hero mother, Rodriguez deftly vacillates between Blanca’s maternal tending to the young people in her fledgling house (called the House of Evangelista, in honor of Linda) and to her own private worries and yearning. Richard Lawson, HWD, "Pose Is Bold, Necessary Melodrama," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fledgling.' 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 fledgling

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for fledgling

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for fledgling

The first known use of fledgling was in 1830

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More Definitions for fledgling



English Language Learners Definition of fledgling

: a young bird that has just become able to fly

: someone or something that is getting started in a new activity


fledg·​ling | \ˈflej-liŋ \

Kids Definition of fledgling

: a young bird that has just grown the feathers needed to fly

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Comments on fledgling

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


playful or foolish behavior

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