When baby birds fledge, they grow feathers that are big enough for flying. Just after they fledge, birds take their first practice flights.

You can use the verb fledge in several ways — first, to describe what happens when a bird's feathers grow in. A mother bird — or human — who cares for and raises a young bird can also be said to fledge it. You can also talk about the process of putting feathers on something, especially a hunting arrow, this way: "Once you fledge the arrow, you can use it with your bow." The Old English root word is flycge, "having feathers, or fit to fly."

Primary Meanings of fledge

grow feathers
decorate with feathers
Full Definitions of fledge

v grow feathers

“The young sparrows are fledging already”
Type of:
acquire, develop, get, grow, produce
come to have or undergo a change of (physical features and attributes)

v feed, care for, and rear young birds for flight

Type of:
bring up, nurture, parent, raise, rear
bring up

v decorate with feathers

fledge an arrow”
Type of:
adorn, beautify, decorate, embellish, grace, ornament
make more attractive by adding ornament, colour, etc.

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