ugly duckling

noun

Definition of ugly duckling

: one that appears very unpromising but often has great potential

Examples of ugly duckling in a Sentence

  1. The house is an ugly duckling, but it has a lot of potential.

Recent Examples of ugly duckling from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ugly duckling.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of ugly duckling

The Ugly Duckling, story by Hans Christian Andersen


UGLY DUCKLING Defined for English Language Learners

ugly duckling

Definition of ugly duckling for English Language Learners

  • : a person or thing that is not attractive or successful but that is likely to become attractive or successful in the future


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excessive admiration or flattery

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