foundling

noun
found·​ling | \ ˈfau̇n(d)-liŋ How to pronounce foundling (audio) \

Definition of foundling

: an infant found after its unknown parents have abandoned it

Examples of foundling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At the start of the poem, the narrator describes the career of Scyld Scefing, a foundling who establishes a kingdom in Denmark and is given a splendid burial at sea. Irina Dumitrescu, The New York Review of Books, "Dudes Without Heirs," 17 Nov. 2020 Joseph Svec, the foundling in question, never seems to have been very curious about his biological family. Jonathan M. Pitts, Washington Post, "A son’s curiosity upends an abandoned baby story," 10 Aug. 2020 His Nick, father to Gene (Colton Ryan) and Marianne (Kimber Elayne Sprawl), a black foundling, is a terrific adhesive performance for the ensemble. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "Listen up, Bob Dylan fans: You’ll want to journey to Broadway’s ‘North Country’," 6 Mar. 2020 The boundaries between human and animal consciousness are blurred as the frail foundling matures under the couple’s care, encountering maternal bliss and heartbreak. The New Yorker, "Briefly Noted," 16 Dec. 2019 Left with a foundling child during the eighteenth century. Time, "The 18th Century Bill Gates Who Built the First Charity for Kids," 2 Feb. 2018 Sally Hawkins is Elisa, the mute janitor who, we’re told, was rescued from a river as a foundling. Michael Phillips, idahostatesman, "Del Toro’s fish tale is magical, romantic and dark," 25 Dec. 2017 Sally Hawkins is Elisa, the mute janitor who, we’re told, was rescued from a river as a foundling. Michael Phillips, idahostatesman, "Del Toro’s fish tale is magical, romantic and dark," 25 Dec. 2017 Sally Hawkins is Elisa, the mute janitor who, we’re told, was rescued from a river as a foundling. Michael Phillips, idahostatesman, "Del Toro’s fish tale is magical, romantic and dark," 25 Dec. 2017

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

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for foundling

Middle English fundelyng, foundlynge, from funde, founde, founden (past participle of finden "to find entry 1") + -lyng, -lynge -ling entry 1

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Time Traveler for foundling

Time Traveler

The first known use of foundling was in the 14th century

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Statistics for foundling

Last Updated

28 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Foundling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foundling. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for foundling

foundling

noun
How to pronounce foundling (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of foundling

: a baby that is found after being left by its parents

foundling

noun
found·​ling | \ ˈfau̇n-(d)liŋ How to pronounce foundling (audio) \

Medical Definition of foundling

: an infant found after its unknown parents have abandoned it

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Comments on foundling

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