v. fledged, fledg·ing, fledg·es
1. To raise (a young bird) until it is ready to leave the nest: a pair of ducks that fledged several young.
2. To cover with or as if with feathers.
3. Archaic To provide (an arrow) with feathers.
1. To grow the plumage necessary for flight.
2. To leave the nest: nestlings that are about to fledge.
[Probably from obsolete fledge, feathered, from Middle English flegge, from Old English *flycge; see pleu- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.