foundling

noun

found·​ling ˈfau̇n(d)-liŋ How to pronounce foundling (audio)
: an infant found after its unknown parents have abandoned it

Examples of foundling in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Clark, a foundling, born Kal-El, famous as Superman, has lost his memory more than once and regularly comes face to face with, and sometimes fist to fist with, perverse reflections or imitations of himself. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 9 Mar. 2021 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, 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, 10 Aug. 2020 Sally Hawkins is Elisa, the mute janitor who, we’re told, was rescued from a river as a foundling. Michael Phillips, idahostatesman, 25 Dec. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'foundling.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near foundling

Cite this Entry

“Foundling.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/foundling. Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

foundling

noun
found·​ling ˈfau̇n-(d)liŋ How to pronounce foundling (audio)
: an infant found after being abandoned by unknown parents

Medical Definition

foundling

noun
found·​ling ˈfau̇n-(d)liŋ How to pronounce foundling (audio)
: an infant found after its unknown parents have abandoned it
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