A fledgling is a fuzzy baby bird just learning to fly, or someone (like a baby bird) who's brand new at doing something. Awww.

If you're not talking about a baby bird, fledgling is often used as an adjective describing a new participant in something, like a fledgling senator still learning the ropes of how to legislate, or a fledgling drama program trying to build audiences for its plays. It can also mean inexperienced and young, like the fledgling photographer for the school paper who accidentally erases all the pictures. If you're British, spell it fledgeling if you like, both spellings are correct.

Definitions of fledgling
  1. noun
    young bird that has just fledged or become capable of flying
    synonyms: fledgeling
    see moresee less
    type of:
    young bird
    a bird that is still young
  2. adjective
    (of a young bird) having acquired its flight feathers
    “a fledgling robin”
    synonyms: fledgeling
    fledged, mature
    (of birds) having developed feathers or plumage; often used in combination
  3. noun
    a participant with no experience with an activity
    synonyms: entrant, fledgeling, freshman, neophyte, newbie, newcomer, starter
    see moresee less
    enlistee, recruit
    any new member or supporter (as in the armed forces)
    type of:
    beginner, initiate, novice, tiro, tyro
    someone new to a field or activity
  4. adjective
    young and inexperienced
    “a fledgling enterprise”
    “a fledgling skier”
    synonyms: callow, unfledged
    inexperienced, inexperient
    lacking practical experience or training
Word Family

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